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US Indexes Close Higher Friday After Volatile Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 26,573.72 on Friday with a gain of 372.68 points or 1.42%. The S&P 500 closed at 2,952.01 for a gain of 41.38 points or 1.42%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,982.47 for a gain of 110.21 points or 1.40%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 17.07 for a loss of 2.05 points or -10.72%.

For the week, the Nasdaq gained 0.5% while the S&P was down 0.3% and the Dow Jones fell 0.9%. For the year, the Nasdaq is up 20.3%, the S&P 500 is up 17.8% and the Dow Jones is up 12.3%.

Friday's market movers

U.S. indexes closed higher Friday after a volatile start to the month of October. Friday's gains were fueled by a stable jobs report showing new payrolls of 136,000, just below the consensus estimate of 145,000. The unemployment rate fell to its lowest reading since December 1969 at 3.5%. The modest payroll gains add to the uncertainty over another Federal Reserve rate cut later in October, which many investors believe will occur after signals in both the manufacturing and services sectors caused concerns this week.

Economic reports affecting market trading included the following:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics' September Employment Situation report showed nonfarm payrolls increasing by 136,000, following an increase of 168,000 and just below estimates of 145,000. The unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% from 3.7%.
  • Details of the Employment Situation report showed the following: average hourly earnings unchanged for the month and up 2.9% year over year, average weekly hours unchanged, the participation rate unchanged at 63.2%, nonfarm private payrolls up 114,000, manufacturing payrolls down 2,000 and government payrolls up 22,000.
  • The Balance of Trade report showed a deficit of $54.9 billion in August following a deficit of $54 billion. Exports were $207.9 billion and imports were $262.8 billion.
  • The Baker Hughes North American oil rig count increased to 999 from 987.
  • On Friday, the Fed's Powell, Brainard, Quarles, Clarida and Kashkari all gave speeches.

In the S&P 500, the financial, technology and utilities sectors led gains. In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the following stocks led gains:

  • Merck (NYSE:MRK) 2.83%
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) 2.70%
  • Travelers (NYSE:TRV) 2.30%
  • JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) 2.21%

Small-cap stocks

In small caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1,498.51 for a gain of 12.17 points or 0.82%. The S&P 600 closed at 930.46 for a gain of 9.35 points or 1.02%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Growth Index closed at 9,572.08 for a gain of 98.22 points or 1.04%. The Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Value Index closed at 9,226.30 for a gain of 71.14 points or 0.78%.

Other notable indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index at 1,903.76 for a gain of 19.14 points or 1.02%; the S&P 100 at 1,306.96 for a gain of 19.22 points or 1.49%; the Nasdaq 100 at 7,754.10 for a gain of 115.71 points or 1.51%; the Russell 3000 at 1,727.85 for a gain of 23.35 points or 1.37%; the Russell 1000 at 1,630.90 for a gain of 22.49 points or 1.40%; the Wilshire 5000 at 30,140.52 for a gain of 402.50 points or 1.35%; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index at 718.24 for a gain of 8.77 points or 1.24%.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.