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Stocks Soar After Bullish Jobs Report

Investing.com – Stocks on Wall Street surged Friday but were slightly off their highs after the Labor Department reported a larger-than-expected gain on nonfarm payrolls and a decline in the jobless rate.

The S&P 500 was up nearly 1% at 3:30 PM ET (20:30 GMT). The Dow Jones industrials jumped 1.2% with a 331-point gain. The Nasdaq Composite and {20|Nasdaq 100}} indices climbed about 1% and 1.1%, respectively. The US SmallCap 2000 Index hit a 52-week high and was up about 1.2%

The gains were almost instantaneous with the release of the jobs report showing a gain of 266,000 jobs in November and a 3.5% unemployment rate. But the market seemed to peak and hold steady from 11 AM ET on.

A host of stocks hit new highs, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Nike (NYSE:NKE), Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) was up 13.2% after better-than-expected quarterly results and easily led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100. Boeing (NYSE:BA), up 1.87%, nonetheless contributed 44 points to the Dow's gain.

Oil prices were higher after OPEC agreed to more production cuts. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 72 cents to $59.20. Interest rates moved higher; Gold fell in New York.

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