By Arjun Panchadar
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes climbed on Friday, as concerns over global growth were allayed by largely upbeat U.S. jobs report and data out of China that showed factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq () hit a record high for the first time since July, while the benchmark S&P 500 () notched its fourth record high this week.
Both the indexes logged their best month in four in October after an upbeat start to the third-quarter earnings season and a largely positive U.S.-China trade rhetoric.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher on Friday, with the industrials sector () providing the biggest boost.
The small-cap Russell 2000 () rose 1.5% to hit its highest level in one and a half months.
U.S. job growth slowed less than expected in October, a Labor Department report showed, overshadowing data showing a contraction in the manufacturing sector for the third straight month.
“Investors are back in the glass-is-half-full mode,” said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group. “(They) are looking past the ISM and focusing more on the better than expected labor report this morning.”
Earlier in the day, sentiment was supported by data showing China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October, easing concerns about a slowdown in demand from the world’s second-largest economy as a result of U.S. tariffs.
On the trade front, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the initial “phase one” trade pact with China appears to be in good shape and is likely to be signed around mid-November, although a finite date is still in question.
At 12:41 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average () was up 256.53 points, or 0.95%, at 27,302.76, the S&P 500 () was up 22.66 points, or 0.75%, at 3,060.22 and the Nasdaq Composite () was up 61.74 points, or 0.74%, at 8,354.10.
About 76% of the 356 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have beaten profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.
However, profit growth forecasts for the next four quarters have been revised lower, even as expectations for a decline in third-quarter earnings have shrunk to 0.8% from 2.2% at the start of October.
Among stocks, oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (N:) rose 2% after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations.
The energy sector () gained more than 1.89%, rising the most among S&P sectors.
Qorvo Inc (O:) jumped 18.2% after the Apple (NASDAQ:) supplier announced a $1 billion share buyback plan and forecast third-quarter revenue above expectations.
Pinterest Inc (N:) tumbled 17.8% after the online scrapbook company missed quarterly revenue estimates.
Arista Networks Inc (N:) slumped 23.5% after the cloud infrastructure supplier forecast current-quarter revenue much below Wall Street expectations.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.58-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.00-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 37 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs and 28 new lows.