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U.S. stocks turn higher after September jobs came in stronger than expected



— U.S. stocks erased earlier losses and turned higher after a stronger than expected monthly official jobs report, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates once more by the end of the year.

At 11:24 ET (15:24 GMT), the was up 75 points or 0.2%, while the was up 0.2% and the was up 0.3%.

The main indices on Wall Street ended the prior session marginally in the red, and are set to mostly post losing weeks. The 30-stock Dow is on course to drop 1.2% this week, heading for its third consecutive negative week. The benchmark S&P is set to drop 0.7%, its fifth consecutive losing week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is largely flat.

Driving this weakness has been a recent spike in Treasury yields, led by concerns the could hike interest rates again in 2023 and keep borrowing costs higher for a longer period of time. The rose to 4.782% but had risen higher earlier in the session.

While futures traders see a 71% probability that the Fed holds rates steady in November, they see a 28% probability of a quarter-point rate increase, higher than before the jobs number was released.

Nonfarm payrolls soared in September

It’s been a mixed week for jobs data, but the data points have generally pointed to a lingering resilience in labor market conditions, which could still impact inflation going forward.

However, Friday’s ever-crucial monthly report showed that the U.S. economy added far more jobs in September than expected, with payrolls rising by 336,000 last month, well above the 170,000 estimated by economists. Data for August was revised to show 227,000 were added instead of the previous reading of 187,000.

Average hourly earnings grew by 0.2% month-on-month, in line with August, the numbers showed, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%.

Exxon reportedly eyes Pioneer Natural Resources

In corporate news, ExxonMobil (NYSE:) is currently in negotiations to buy Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:), which has a market capitalization of roughly $50 billion and is the largest crude producer in Texas, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shares of Pioneer rose 10%, while shares of Exxon fell 2.5%.

This would be the largest tie-up for Exxon since it merged with Mobil in 1999 and all but crystallize its position as the West’s key oil major.

Additionally, Tesla (NASDAQ:) has cut the price of some Model 3 and Model Y versions in the U.S. after the company reported third-quarter deliveries that missed market expectations. Shares of Tesla fell 2.3%.

Crude set for sharp weekly decline

Oil prices edged lower Friday after the jobs data, and were on course for their steepest weekly decline for months on concerns of a global economic slowdown and the associated hit to fuel demand.

Official U.S. data this week showed a sharp build in gasoline stocks, indicating a decline in gasoline demand in the largest consumer in the world.

The benchmark was down 10% this week, heading for its sharpest weekly loss since April, while the contract was down more than 12%, on course to its sharpest weekly loss since March.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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