Wall St ends higher after jobs report, trade optimism

Andrew Cummings
December 8, 2019

China's State Council on Friday began the process of exempting some soybeans and pork imported from the USA from punitive tariffs, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said. S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.44% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.55%.

Trade-sensitive semiconductor stocks gained with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index rising 1.6%. The energy sector was the best performer in the S&P 500, jumping 2%. The Nasdaq rose 1%.

In Asia overnight Friday, the Hang Seng advanced 0.2%, the China CSI 300 rose 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.4% higher.

"Going into year-end, I think we're going to get a pretty good push higher", Katz added.

The major indices are closing with solid gains on the day after strong job gains.

The Nasdaq is up 1,931.40 points, or 29.1%. They were only down 0.1% each for the week after the session began.

At the center of the movements were interest rates, which sway how quickly the economy grows, how expensive it is for companies and households to borrow and how high a price investors are willing to pay for stocks. The Nasdaq and Dow finished the week only slightly down less than 0.1%.

The Labor Department reported that the economy created 266,000 jobs, lowering unemployment rates to 3.5%, a 50-year low. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 187,000. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.79% late Thursday.

The encouraging reports offer reassurance for investors who may have been anxious that consumers might be pulling back on spending, said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. It also "puts a lot of questions to rest".

RIDE SAFETY: Uber (NYSE: UBER) slipped 2.7% after a safety report revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its USA rides in 2018. -China trade war. All of the main indexes are now set to log weekly losses of around 1% each.

China has been seeking relief from some tariffs as part of the negotiations. Investors were rattled this week when President Donald Trump said he wouldn't mind waiting until after the 2020 elections for an agreement.

That rhetoric sent stocks tumbling to start off the week.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the December 15 deadline is still in place for a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods, but Trump likes where trade talks are going.

On Thursday, Trump said China and the United States were drawing closer to a trade deal despite tariffs on another $156bn-worth of Chinese goods being set to go into effect on 15 December.

But Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that Trump is prepared to "walk away" from the negotiations if some conditions are not met. "The president has said that if we can not get the enforcement and the assurances, then we will not go forward".

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