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VOL. 40 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 2, 2016

Stocks rise as tepid jobs report stokes hopes for low rates

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are rising Friday as a slowdown in hiring last month raised investors' hopes that the Federal Reserve may wait even longer before raising interest rates. Energy companies made the biggest gains as the price of oil turned higher for the first time this week.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average added 45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,464 as of 1:20 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,176. The Nasdaq composite gained 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,237.

Stocks have been higher all day, but early on they were on track for much larger gains. In the first few minutes of trading the Dow rose 125 points.

JOBS: The government said U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs in August, a bit less than economists expected. Compared to the last few months, job gains slowed in most major industries and wages only rose a little. While the U.S. is on a long streak of job growth, reports over the last few months have been inconsistent: growth was weak in April and May, but picked up in June and July and seems to have slowed again in August.

FED AHEAD: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December and wants to raise them further. But most investors didn't expect rates to rise this month, and the jobs report appeared to confirm rates won't go up right now. Since investors are uneasy about the state of the economy, that was something of a relief.

THE QUOTE: Kate Warne, investment strategist for Edward Jones, said the jobs report was good, but not great. And that's helping stocks, because a very strong report could have pushed the Fed to raise interest rates later this month and investors thought that might hurt the economy.

"It falls right in the sweet spot of what the market wanted," she said. "It wasn't so strong as to make (higher interest rates) seem necessary but it wasn't so weak as to make a rate increase this year unlikely."

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude oil futures rose $1.37, or 3.2 percent, to $44.53 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, added $1.50, or 3.3 percent, to $46.95 a barrel in London. U.S. crude had fallen 9 percent over the last four days. Anadarko Petroleum added $2.94, or 5.5 percent, to $56.48 and Halliburton picked up 70 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $43.73.

UTILITIES: Utility companies also climbed. They're seen as steady investments, and their high dividends make them more appealing when bond yields are low. NextEra Energy gained $1.50, or 1.2 percent, to $122.50 and American Electric rose 57 cents to $64.98.

HOME SWEET HOME: Household goods makers traded higher. Colgate-Palmolive, which makes toothpastes, soaps, and pet foods, rose 90 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $75.17. Tyson Foods, the largest meat and poultry processing company in the world, gained $1.12, or 1.5 percent, to $76.60. Cigarette makers also did well. Reynolds American added 83 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $50.58 and Altria Group picked up 56 cents to $66.88.

VERY FAR DOWN: VeriFone Systems, which makes terminals used in electronic payments, slumped after it disclosed disappointing revenue and cut its forecast for the year. The company said adoption of chip payment cards continues to go slower than expected. The stock plunged $3.85, or 19.2 percent, to $16.25.

A REAL LEMON: Athletic apparel maker Lululemon fell after it reported disappointing sales. Its forecast for the rest of the year also failed to inspire investors. The stock tumbled $7.33, or 9.6 percent, to $69.33.

BIOGEN RISES: Drugmaker Biogen added $9.97, or 3.3 percent, to $316 after the company said its early Alzheimer's disease treatment aducanumab will get a faster review from the Food and Drug Administration. That could help Biogen bring the drug to the market sooner, assuming it meets its goals in clinical studies.

CRUISES BRUISED: Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises took the biggest losses on the S&P 500 index. Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo said demand for cruises seems to have gotten weaker in August and bookings for late 2016 and early 2017 have slowed down. He downgraded Carnival shares to "Underweight." Carnival fell $2.40, or 4.9 percent, to $46.30 and Royal Caribbean lost $2.22, or 3.1 percent, to $70.49.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.59 percent from 1.57 percent. The dollar rose to 103.96 yen from 103.32 yen and the euro edged down to $1.1158 from $1.1197.

OVERSEAS: The FTSE 100 in Britain jumped 2.2 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 2.3 percent. In Germany, the DAX climbed 1.4 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index finished practically unchanged while South Korea's Kospi edged 0.3 percent higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
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