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Wall St. rises as Fed seen holding off rate hike till 2015

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Abhiram Nandakumar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with the S&P 500 up for the fifth day, after last week's disappointing jobs report hardened views that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates this year.

Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for September showed that job growth slowed in the last three months, increasing prospect that the era of near-zero interest rates will continue for a while yet.

Low interest rates not only make its cheaper for companies to borrow, but also boosts consumer spending.

"September was the best time to raise rates and now it looks like it was the only time they could raise rates," said Mohannad Aama, managing director, Beam Capital Management in New York.

The Fed, which has not raised interest rates since June 2006, kept its benchmark rate unchanged in September, citing an uncertain global economic outlook and volatile markets.

Traders are pricing in only a 31 percent chance of a December hike, down from 44 percent before the release of the jobs report, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.

However, Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Fed, told Reuters on Monday that he still expected the Fed to raise rates this year despite the "weak" jobs report.

Aama said the uncertainty over rates was likely to continue as investors look for more consistency in economic reports.

At 12:55 p.m. ET (1655 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 230.87 points, or 1.4 percent, at 16,703.24.

The S&P 500 was up 27.17 points, or 1.39 percent, at 1,978.53 and the Nasdaq composite was up 48.93 points, or 1.04 percent, at 4,756.71.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were up, with the material index's 2.5 percent rise leading the advancers.

The only sector in the red was the S&P health index, down 0.4 percent. The United States and other Pacific Rim countries reached a sweeping trade liberalization deal which fell short on what health industry groups were expecting on patent protection for drugs.

The Nasdaq biotechnology index was down 1.7 percent, breaking a run of three days of gains. The index had fallen for eight session before that due to criticism over high drug prices.

Crude oil prices gained more than 2 percent after Russia said it was prepared to discuss the market with other producers. Exxon rose 1.2 percent and Chevron 2.7 percent.

Energy stocks had led a turnaround in the market on Friday after the jobs report had initially pushed stocks lower.

With the third-quarter earnings season starting this week, investors are also starting to factor in what is likely to be the biggest fall in profits for S&P 500 companies in six years.

Wall Street expects S&P 500 companies to report a 4.2 percent decline in earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data.

GE gained 4.2 percent to $26.52 after Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management disclosed a roughly 1 percent stake. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

Twitter was up 5.8 percent at $27.84 after naming co-founder Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO.

Alphabet, the restructured Google, rose more than 1 percent on its first day of trading. Each share of the old Google is worth one share of Alphabet.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,637 to 397. On the Nasdaq, 2,068 issues rose and 679 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 36 new highs and 27 new lows.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Ted Kerr)