Stocks close mixed but post 6-week win streak

U.S. stocks closed mixed Friday, but held solid gains for the week after a better-than-expected October jobs report increased confidence in the likelihood of a December rate hike. ( Tweet This )

"I think (the report) does increase the chance the Fed hikes in December but of course there's one more report before then and other data. I think investors should take this as good news," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

"It's a combination of, we've seen stocks move up in the last five weeks and there's likely to be some profit taking as people worry if the Fed does start hiking, conditions won't be as favorable as they have been in the last five years," Warne said of some of the pressure on equities.

Despite mixed performance Friday, the three major indexes rose nearly 1 percent or more for the week, their sixth-straight week of gains.

That is the longest win streak for the major averages since late last year.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed near session highs, up about 47 points, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most to gains. UnitedHealth was the greatest weight. The index ended the week up 1.4 percent.

The S&P ended the week up 0.95 percent, while the Nasdaq composite gained 1.85 percent for the week.

Utilities ended about 3.6 percent lower, dragging down the S&P 500. Financials led advancers with gains of about 1 percent, after briefly rising more than 1.5 percent.

Major average 1-week performance


"Long term it's clear the economy is stronger and equities will be back. I think the market's viewing December is (in) the rearview mirror at this point. The market's looking at what's the next move," said John Bredemus, vice president, Allianz Investment Management.

He said the rise in the 2-year yield is capped because "the Fed's going to continue to raise rates but it's going to be very slow, very gradual," he said.

Treasury yields held near highs after spiking on the jobs report. The 2-year yield held near 0.89 percent, after earlier hitting 0.958 percent, its highest level since May 2010. The 10-year yield was 2.33 percent, after hitting its highest level since July 21.

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The October report showed the addition of 271,000 jobs, soundly beating expectations of about 180,000, with the unemployment rate ticking lower to 5 percent. Average hourly earnings increased 9 cents, for an annualized increase of 2.5 percent.

However, labor force participation remained low at 62.4 percent.

"Investors will be keying in on average hourly earnings and some of the components, especially the manufacturing, which was a little less worse than expected," said Greg Woodard, portfolio strategist at Manning and Napier.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said employment in manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

"Across the board strength makes the case for a Fed tightening in December much stronger than I would like and much stronger than I anticipated in a global economy where you still face deflationary pressure," said Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds.

He noted increased strength in the U.S. dollar on Fed tightening would be negative for domestic growth and contribute to market volatility.

The U.S. dollar held more than 1 percent higher against major world currencies in afternoon trade. The euro fell below $1.08 and the yen weakened to 123.19 yen against the dollar.

The sharp gains in the dollar pressured oil, with crude settling down 2.01 percent, or 91 cents, at $44.29 a barrel. Gold also plunged $16.50 to end at $1,087.70 per ounce.

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Dow futures gave up earlier gains to briefly fall more than 50 points, while bond yields climbed after the data release.

Markets were pricing in an approximately 70 percent probability of a rate hike in December, up from 58 percent before the report, according to CME's FedWatch tool.

European equities ended mostly higher after the U.S. jobs report.

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Immediately following the data release, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on CNBC that the report was "very good news" and that strong jobs growth would help push up inflation. However, the dovish Fed speaker and voting member was not ready to say time was ripe for a rate hike.

A "very good" U.S. jobs report for October on top of faster-than-expected progress over the last year means the U.S. economy is effectively at full employment, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said in a Reuters report Friday.

Fed Gov. Lael Brainard speaks at an IMF conference after the closing bell.

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S&P 500
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The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 46.90 points, or 0.26 percent, at 17,910.33, with Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase leading advancers, and UnitedHealth leading decliners. JPMorgan was the best performer for the week, while UnitedHealth was the worst.

The S&P 500 closed down 0.73 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,099.20, with utilities leading six sectors lower and financials the greatest advancer. The two sectors were the worst and best performers for the week, respectively.

The Nasdaq closed up 19.38 points, or 0.38 percent, at 5,147.12.

The Dow transports outperformed the major averages, ending 0.75 percent higher Friday.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 15.

About three stocks declined for every two advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 993 million and a composite volume of 4.3 billion in the close.

High-frequency trading accounted for 49 percent of November's daily trading volume of about 7.1 billion shares, according to TABB Group. During the peak levels of high-frequency trading in 2009, about 61 percent of 9.8 billion of average daily shares traded were executed by high-frequency traders.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

On tap this week:

Friday

4:15 p.m.: Fed Gov. Lael Brainard on policy panel at IMFconference

Saturday

11:10 p.m.: San Francisco Fed President John Williams on outlook and economic education

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