U.S. stocks rallied sharply Friday as sovereign debt yields fell in Europe; major indexes were up substantially in premarket before the 8:30 AM employment data which served to increase momentum for the day. The S&P 500 gained 1.9% and NASDAQ 2.0%.
- Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, breaking three straight months of job gains below 100,000. However the unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 8.3%. This despite thee labor force participation rate, or the percentage of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one, fell to 63.7% last month from 63.8%.
- The private sector again accounted for all the job gains, adding 172,000 new positions. Government payrolls dropped by 9,000. Average hourly earnings increased 2 cents last month; in the 12 months to July, earnings rose 1.7%. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours.
- The Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. service companies grew at a slightly faster pace in July. The ISM's services index rose to 52.6 from 52.1 in June, which was the lowest reading since January 2010. Any reading above 50 means that business is growing for service providers.
Crude oil jumped $4.27 to $91.40. Gold rose $18.60 to finish at $1,609.30 an ounce and ilver jumped 80.6 cents, or 3 percent, to $27.801 per ounce.
Britain's FTSE 100 closed 2.2% higher, while Germany's DAX added 3.9%. France's CAC 40 climbed 4.4%. Spain's 10-year bond yield fell back below 7%, to 6.82%, while the main stock index jumped 6% higher.
- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy inched closer on Friday to asking for an EU bailout for his country, but said he needed first to know what conditions would be attached and what form the rescue would take. His comments came a day after the European Central Bank signaled it was preparing to buy Spanish and Italian bonds but only after EU bailout funds were triggered and countries had asked for help.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average finished down 1.1% while the Shanghai Composite rose 1%.