U.S. stocks post weekly gains amid earnings, data

NEW YORK, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — U.S. stocks advanced in the week ending Nov. 2 as investors cheered a slew of solid corporate earnings while digesting the latest economic data.

All three major indices posted solid gains for the week, with the Dow and the S&P 500 climbing 2.36 percent and 2.76 percent respectively, and the Nasdaq up 2.65 percent.

The market rallied in three of five sessions this week. Friday’s decline snapped a three-day winning streak as steep losses in Apple shares dented the broad market.

Apple stock plunged 6.63 percent at Friday’s closing. The U.S. smartphone maker reported Thursday better-than-expected earnings and revenue. However, its iPhone shipments missed estimates.

Shares of Starbucks soared 9.7 percent on Friday after the company reported earnings and results that extended forecasts.

A batch of major U.S. companies reported this week, most of which released solid quarterly results.

Facebook shares advanced 3.43 percent for the week, underpinning the market. The U.S. social media reported earnings on Tuesday that beat Wall Street estimates. The company also announced plans to invest significantly in its business next year.

Red Hat was in spotlight this week. Its stock surged more than 45 percent on Monday after IBM agreed to buy the software-and-services company for about 34 billion U.S. dollars.

Investor sentiment was also boosted by comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday, which indicated potential progress in U.S.-China trade relations.

On the economic front, U.S. total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, easily beating forecasts, according to a report by the Department of Labor on Friday.

The amount of money the average employee earns rose 0.18 percent last month to 27.30 dollars an hour, also beating expectations.

U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, matching market consensus.

Solid jobs report indicated a robust economy but also caused worries that rising wages and increasing inflationary pressures would push the Federal Reserve to increase rates at a faster pace, experts noted.

Meanwhile, the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered 57.7 in October, down from the September rate of 59.8, said the Institute for Supply Management. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

On other economic data, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in October, following a modest improvement in September. The index stood at 137.9, up from 135.3 in September, beating market consensus.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a 5.8 percent annual gain in August, down from 6.0 percent in the previous month, according to a report released by S&P Dow Jones Indices on Tuesday.

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