Stocks were wavering between the plus and minus column Friday after a below-consensus increase in October payrolls provided equity investors with enough of a reason to book profits following three straight days of record highs. But with employers now adding at least 200,000 new workers for 11 straight months and the jobless rate at a six-year low, equities were still within close range of record levels and appear set are expected to close higher for the third consecutive week.
Most sectors were holding minimal gains, although the energy sector is outperforming, driving the S&P 500 into positive territory. Dow component stock Disney ( DIS ) is weighing on blue-chips after the entertainment giant missed on earnings, while chipmakers and biotechs are again blamed for weakness in the Nasdaq Composite
The Labor Department reported that 214,000 new jobs were added in October, below the street estimate of 240,000. But September was revised to 256,000 from 248,000, and the jobless rate fell to 5.8% from 5.9%.
European markets were also mixed with early pressure tied to the U.S. jobs report evaporating into the close. The German and French indices were pressured early on by mixed EU production data, while the UK's FTSE managed a respectable gain due to strength in oil and mining stocks.
Crude oil was up $0.85 to $78.76 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.07 to $4.56 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $24.20 to $1,166.70 an ounce, while silver was up $0.25 to $15.66 an ounce. Copper was up $0.02 to $3.04 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.28% to $29.98 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up $1.08 to $23.41. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 5.04% to 18.10 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 1.84% to $11.90. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.22% to $15.00.
Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 14.51 (+0.13%) to 10,858.05
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.68 (+0.02%) to 17,557.15
S&P 500 up 0.76 (+0.04%) to 2,031.97
Nasdaq Composite Index down 13.11 (-0.28%) to 4,625.36
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.52%
Hang Seng Index down 0.42%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.32%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.25%
CAC 40 down 0.89%
DAX down 0.91%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 1.47%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.03%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.87%
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