USA stocks settle higher

BONDS, CURRENCIES: USA government bond prices didn’t move much.

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The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged up 0.1 percent to end at 16,790.19 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,983 and the Nasdaq composite fell 28 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,752. Trading volume was about equal to the daily average of around 7.5 million. The S&P 500 finished with gains for the fifth straight session, its longest winning stretch since last December. Additionally, VIX, widely considered as the fear gauge index, ended below 20 for the first time since August 20.

Brent Crude, a benchmark for worldwide oils used by many US refineries, rose $2.67 to $51.92 a barrel in London. The share price rushed nearly 4.61% in the last one month while its 52 week high is $12.82. The euro fell to $1.1185 from $1.1192. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index both surged up by 1.6%, while Australia’s All Ordinaries Index jumped by 1.9%.

Six of the ten major S&P sectors were lower, with the health sector’s 2.8 percent loss leading the decliners. ( BZH ), DR Horton Inc.

Materials led advancers on the S&P 500, which held a touch lower. The weaker-than-projected jobs report fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve may be more circumspect about tightening monetary policy.

The U.S. total non-farm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, well below market consensus of 203,000, the Labour Department announced on Friday. Employment gains for the previous two months were also trimmed by a combined 59,000. If that’s the case, then the labor market could tighten further, albeit gradually. Ultra-low interest rates have aided economic recovery and helped the markets enjoy a bull run.

This story was compiled with reports from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press. The drop was more than the consensus estimate of a decrease to 57.7%.

SPINOFF: Mining and drilling company Freeport-McMoRan rose 52 cents, or 5 percent, to $11.71 after the company said it is exploring the idea of spinning off its oil and natural gas business into a separate company.

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US stock indexes are little changed in early trading a day after a big rally