The S&P 500's point gain was its best since Aug. 13. The gains for the Dow – about 372 points – and Nasdaq were their best since Sept. 5. The rally cut the Dow's and S&P 500's losses for the week to 0.9% and 0.3%, respectively. The Nasdaq finished up 0.5% for the week.
The market managed to weather selloffs on Tuesday and Wednesday that saw the Dow fall more than 838 points. From a low on Thursday as the market reacted to a weaker-than-expected report on the services report, the Dow gained more than 847 points at its Friday peak.
The rally was largely computer-driven: The uniformity of the gains and the speed with which they occurred was a clear signal of across-the-board blanket buying.
The rally was set off by the jobs report that showed payrolls increasing by 136,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%, the lowest in at least 50 years. Bullish as the report sounds, the employment gain was smaller than expected and wage growth fell back slightly.
Still, the jobs report was a big relief after early reports this past week suggested a stagnating economy getting close to a recession.
The Dow was led by a 2.8% gain for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and a 2.73% gain for pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE:MRK). Chemical maker Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW) was the one decliner for most of the day but finally finished up slightly.
Among the Nasdaq 100 stocks, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), along with Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), contributed more than 47 points to the index's 116-point gain.
Interest rates fell even as stocks climbed, in part because Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he is looking for ways to boost inflation. The 10-Year Treasury yield fell to 1.531% from Thursday's 1.536%.
Gold futures were down slightly at $1,512.90, but up 0.4% on the week.
Computer maker HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), oil-and-gas producer Apache (NYSE:APA), seed-producer Corteva Inc. (NYSE:CTVA) and beauty products retailer Ulta Beauty(NASDAQ:ULTA) were among the worst S&P 500 performers.
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