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Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains ahead of jobs data

Overnight Markets: Wall Street gains ahead of jobs data

Wall Street pushed higher on Thursday, buoyed by popular technology companies including Facebook and Alphabet, on the eve of the closely-watched US jobs report for November.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.29% to end at 24,211 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.29% to 2,637. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.54% to 6,813.

In economic news, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a rapid tightening of the labour market. The report comes ahead of more comprehensive government payrolls data on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Senate Republicans on Wednesday agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on the tax bill amid early signs that lawmakers could agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed 22 December deadline.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with industrial and materials indexes leading the gainers. The S&P 500 consumer staples index fell 0.93%, hurt by drops of at least 1.2% in Procter & Gamble, Pepsico and Coca-Cola.

Large technology companies, a volatile group of late, were upward bound. Apple rose 0.5%, Facebook 1.7% and Google-parent Alphabet 1.4%.

General Electric increased about 0.3% after the industrial conglomerate said it was cutting 12,000 jobs at its global power business.

The top-performing sector this year, the S&P 500 information technology index had fallen nearly 3% since 28 November, with some investors cautious about high earnings multiples.

Yoga attire manufacturer Lululemon Athletica jumped 6.4% after the company reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday season forecast.

LendingClub plunged 15.53% after the online lender lowered its quarterly revenue forecast.

In Asia, stocks rose on Friday in morning session following a broad-based rally in US equities the previous day.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average 225 added 1.22%, while South Korea’s KOSPI Index gained 0.17%. In Australia, ASX All Ordinaries Index added 0.28%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 0.53%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.16%.


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