US Stocks: Dow, S&P 500 end higher for fifth straight week, financials lead

Nov 10 2013, 15:28 IST
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US stocks rose on Friday, rebounding from the previous session's selloff, after an unexpectedly strong payrolls report lent weight to views the world's largest economy is stronger than previously thought.

With Friday's advance, The Dow and S&P 500 recorded their fifth straight week of gains. For the week, the Dow rose 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 index rose 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq fell 0.1 percent for the week.

"The focus has been heavily on whether the economy is seeing some growth, and while the initial reaction to the jobs report was about the Fed tapering or tightening policy, people are seeing the positive aspect of growth," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm Liberty View Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"Another reason why the market is moving higher is... a lack of alternatives. As much as investors want to take profits, considering how far this market has come, the short-term rates remain low and there is a risk of putting money into fixed income."

The strong jobs report - 204,000 new jobs were created last month, much more than the expected 125,000 - came before the market open and initially pressured futures because it increased chances the Federal Reserve could begin to scale back its stimulus before the end of the year.

The strong data also sent US Treasuries prices lower, lifting the benchmark 10-year yield to its highest in more than three weeks. A four-month rally in yields earlier this year pressured stocks, but the recent strong data has eased concerns over higher borrowing costs.

"Most people in the market believe in the next couple years the 10-year yield will return to a 3-to-4 percent level, and a market trading at 17 times earnings is cheap still, in that environment," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.

The most recent trailing price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P 500 is 16.2 according to Thomson Reuters data, with the forward P/E at 14.8.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 167.80 points, or 1.08 percent, at 15,761.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 23.46 points, or 1.34 percent, at 1,770.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 61.90 points, or 1.60 percent, at 3,919.23.

Financial stocks led the charge on the S&P 500 with a 2.3 percent advance, following a more than 1 percent drop in the sector on Thursday, on the expectation that higher rates will translate into stronger

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