Stock futures rose Friday after a soft jobs report drove bond yields lower to cap the stock market’s best week in 2023. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 162 points, or 0.5%. S&P 500 futures were higher by 0.5%, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.3%. Stocks are on pace for sizable weekly gains as investors grow hopeful that the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking campaign is over. As of Thursday’s close, the Dow is up 4.4%, on pace for its best weekly performance since October 2022. The S&P 500 is tracking for a 4.9% advance on the week, while the Nasdaq is up 5.2% — both are tracking for their best week since November 2022. The October jobs report on Friday came in weaker than expectations, suggesting the central bank is done raising rates. The U.S. economy last month added 150,000 jobs, below the 170,000 payrolls increase consensus estimate from Dow Jones, and lower than September’s blowout of 297,000 jobs added. The unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, compared to expectations that it would hold steady at 3.8%. Average hourly earnings also missed expectations on a monthly basis, rising 0.2% in October, below the anticipated 0.3% increase. “From an equity market perspective, this reading takes some of the pressure off inflation and interest rate concerns, while still reflecting a robust labor market that is adding jobs faster than the neutral rate of approximately 100K,” said Michelle Cluver, portfolio strategist at Global X. Bond yields, which have weighed on the stock market the last three months, tumbled Friday in the wake of the worse-than-expected payrolls figures and lighter average hourly earnings increase. The 10-year Treasury yield lost more than 9 basis points to 4.57%, down from the 5% high it hit last month. The 2-year Treasury yield lost 7 basis points to 4.9%. Apple fell 3% after the iPhone maker issued a weak revenue outlook for the December quarter. Though the company beat on top and bottom lines in its fiscal fourth quarter, overall sales declined for the fourth quarter in a row. Elsewhere, Block popped 16% on an earnings beat and a raise on full-year guidance, while Paramount Global jumped 4.5% on a strong quarterly report. Asia-Pacific markets rose at the end of the week, with investors accessing a fresh round of data for more clues on the health of business activity through the region. Hong Kong’s private sector activity contracted further in October as new business, including that from mainland China continues to fall, according to a survey by S&P Global. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index strengthened 2.5% in its final hour of trade, while China’s CSI 300 rose 0.84% to finish at 3,584.14, snapping a three day losing streak. South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.08% to close at 2,368.34 while the Kosdaq was up 1.19%, ending at 782.05. Both South Korean indexes notched their third straight day of gains. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 ended 1.14% higher at 6,978.20, while Japan markets were shut for a public holiday. Oil rose on Friday, as the U.S. jobs market slowed more than expected last month, bolstering expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes in the world’s biggest consumer, but they remained on track for a weekly loss as supply concerns driven by Middle East tensions eased. Brent crude futures were up 81 cents, or 0.9%, to $87.66 a barrel at 1243 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained $1.01, or 1.2%, to $83.47 a barrel. Both benchmarks gained more than $2 a barrel on Thursday, but were on track to lose up to 3% on the week. Gold was headed for its first weekly loss in nearly a month on Friday as the safe-haven rally cooled. Spot gold ticked up 0.1% to $1,987.79 per ounce by 1154 GMT, trading in a tight $6 range. U.S. gold futures also rose 0.1% to $1,995.40. Gold is down nearly 1% for the week so far, moving away from the key $2,000 mark hit last month on escalating tensions in the Middle East.
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