U.S. stocks open higher; energy, GE are among early gainers

USA non-farm payrolls rose by 142,000 in September, considerably lower than the 203,000 jobs the markets had expected, data showed on Friday.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 18 points, or 1 percent, to 1,970. The energy sector in the S&P 500 rose 2 percent, almost twice the gain of the broader market.

ON HOLD: Last week’s jobs report, which showed that hiring slowed down in September, is being taken as positive by investors who want the Fed to postpone raising interest rates.

Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 1.8 percent. Markets in mainland China are closed for holidays until Thursday.

The upward momentum for USA stocks comes amid considerable strength in most of the major overseas markets.

Investors reacted Friday by cutting the perceived chances of a Fed rate hike in December to only 30 percent, this despite repeated assurances in recent weeks from Chair Janet Yellen and other Fed policymakers that they expect to act this year.

Prices of safe-haven government bonds gained on the downbeat U.S. jobs data, sending benchmark 10-year Treasury yields to near 6-week lows on Friday. German Bund yields dropped to 4-month troughs.

The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,748. The dollar rose to 120.28 yen.

“In the near term, the greenback may be expected to remain partially on the defensive post-NFP,” strategists at OCBC Bank wrote.

A, B, C, D, E, F, GOOGLE: Alphabet Inc., the new parent company of Google, rose $8.42, or 1.3 percent, to $665.41.

Energy stocks led a turnaround in the market on Friday after the jobs report had initially pushed stocks lower. “Instead of interpreting the disappointing US NFP numbers as symptomatic of the state of the global economy, investors have instead chosen to look upon the glass as half full, attaching positivity to prospects of a delayed Fed liftoff”.

Following the strong rebound seen <strong>laststrong> Friday, stocks are likely to see further upside in early trading on <strong>Mondaystrong>. Exxon was up 0.3 percent, while Chevron gained almost 2 percent.

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The euro was steady at $1.1217, climbing to as high as $1.1319 on Friday, a 10-day peak. The unemployment rate stayed at 5.1 per cent, but only because many Americans have stopped looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed. Spot gold was almost flat at $1,135.71 an ounce.

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