US STOCKS-Wall Street up as improved Oct hiring boosts economy hopes
* U.S. employers hire more in October than expected
* LinkedIn shares jump after earnings
* Starbucks raises outlook, U.S. beats expectation
* S&P 500 up 0.4 pct, Dow up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 climbed in early trading Friday as U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October and the jobless rate ticked higher as more workers restarted job hunts, a hopeful sign for a lackluster economy.
Employers added 171,000 people to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. The government also said 84,000 more jobs were created in August and September than initially estimated.
"The number was better than expected," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital, New York. "I think (it's) still insufficient for any real turnaround in the job market. I think the initial reaction is going to be mixed to positive."
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 32.42 points, or 0.25 percent, to 13,265.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 5.13 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1,432.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.74 points, or 0.22 percent, to 3,026.80.
The latest jobs report, which is the last one before the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday, could boost President Obama's fortunes at the ballot box.
The S&P 500 is on track for its best weekly gains since the week ended Sept. 16, and enjoyed its best day since Sept. 13 Thursday, as bullish consumer confidence and private-sector jobs data gave investors reason to cheer following superstorm Sandy's devastating sweep through the U.S. Northeast.
Still, the index is down over 2 percent from a recent peak in September and below its 50-day moving average as investors grow cautious ahead of the election and tough government budget negotiations at the end of the year.
Starbucks Corp jumped 9.8 percent to $51.19 after raising its profit forecast for the fiscal year as sales in its top market of the United States beat expectations, providing the company optimism that has eluded much of the U.S. restaurant industry in recent months.
Professional social network LinkedIn Corp beat Wall Street's third-quarter profit and revenue targets, as advertising rates increased and sales from its hiring services nearly doubled. The shares rose nearly 3 percent to $109.95.
From New York City's Staten Island to the popular beach towns of the Jersey Shore, rescuers and officials continued to face widespread destruction Friday wrought by superstorm Sandy, a rising death toll, and mounting anger over delayed relief and fuel shortages.
Verizon may take another two weeks to restore telecommunication services for its customers after flooding and power outages knocked out services during superstorm Sandy, according to a top executive at the company. The stock rose 0.2 percent to $45.25.
Newmont Mining Corp,, the world's second-largest gold producer, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as output slumped and costs soared at its big Batu Hijau copper and gold mine in Indonesia. The stock fell 4.4 percent to $50.86.
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