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U.S. stocks open sharply higher after jobs data; Dow Jones up 0.83%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on Friday, after the release of upbeat U.S. employment data, although the report fuelled further expectations for the Federal Reserve to soon begin tapering its stimulus program.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.83%, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.89%, while the Nasdaq Composite index climbed 0.69%.

In a report, the Department of Labor said the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, exceeding expectations for a 180,000 increase, after a downwardly revised 200,000 rise the previous month.

In the private sector, 196,000 jobs were added last month, compared to expectations for a 180,000 rise, after an increase of 214,000 in October.

The report also said the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.0% in November, from 7.3% in October, beating expectations for a downtick to 7.2%.

J.C. Penney plunged 5.31% after the retailer disclosed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked for information about its finances, including a stock sale in September that it's using to fund an attempted turnaround.

In the financial sector, Citigroup and Wells Fargo were accused of discriminatory mortgage lending by the city of Los Angeles, which seeks damages for reduced property tax revenue and the costs of maintaining foreclosed properties.

Shares in the two lenders still rallied 1.25% and 0.97% respectively at the open of the U.S. trading session.

In similar news, Goldman Sachs, up 0.76%, was sued by Singaporean wealth-management client Oei Hong Leong over a USD34.3 million loss on Brazilian real-yen options trades he claimed the bank misled him into making.

Elsewhere, Twitter shares edged down 0.09% as co-founder Jack Dorsey reportedly sparked a price war over Japanese credit-card transactions with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.71%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.78%, Germany's DAX jumped 0.99%, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.71%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.13%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.81%.

Later in the day, the University of Michigan was to produce the preliminary reading of its consumer sentiment index. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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