Wall Street ends the week on a high note on upbeat employment data

  • Nonfarm payroll growth points to a healthy economy.
  • VIX drops another 4% on Friday.
  • Energy and financials lead the gains.

Major equity indexes in the United States started the day higher and stretched their upside on the back of robust employment figures and an improved market sentiment.

Today's data revealed that nonfarm payrolls rose by 228,000 jobs in November with the manufacturing sector adding 31,000 jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the negative impact of hurricanes finally faded away. Moreover, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1%. Commenting on this data, “this was a fairway number: we’re right down the middle of the fairway. When you look at the negative revision last month, that balances out the significant beat this morning. Wage growth is moving solidly higher, but not excessively so,” Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors in New York, told Reuters.

The market sentiment continued to improve with the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's fair gauge, dropping another 4% after dropping more than 7% on Thursday. The risk-sensitive technology stocks took advantage of the higher risk appetite and the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector (SPLRCT) closed the day 0.42% higher. 

Moreover, the upbeat data confirmed a 25 bps rate hike in next week's Fed meeting, pushing the financial shares, which benefits from rising interest rates, higher. The S&P 500 Financials Sector (SPSY) rose 0.6%. 

Meanwhile, crude oil prices extended their recovery for the second day in a row, helping the S&P 500 Energy Sector (SPNY) become the top performing sector of the day with a 0.85% increase.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 116.33 points, or 0.48%, to 24,327.81, the S&P 500 rose 14.23 points, or 0.54%, to 2,651.21 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 26.13 points, or 0.38%, to 6,838.97.

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