US STOCKS-Wall St eyes weekly gain after U.S. jobs report

Fri Jun 7, 2013 1:33pm EDT

* Hiring points to economy still in need of Fed's help

* Non-farm payrolls up 175,000 in May; jobless rate 7.6 pct

* TiVo shares sink after settlement with Motorola Mobility, others

* Dow up 1.2 pct, S&P 500 up 1 pct, Nasdaq up 1 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, June 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to halt its first two-week losing skid of the year after the May jobs report pointed to an economy still in need of central bank support.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls report showed moderate growth in the labor market in May, but not enough forward momentum to increase speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin to lessen its bond-buying program in the near future.

The S&P 500 has climbed nearly 15 percent so far this year, partly on the belief the Fed's stimulus would remain in place and central banks around the globe would continue their programs to support their respective economies.

For the past few weeks, investors had become increasingly concerned about the longevity of the Fed's stimulus and a still sluggish global economy.

Market volatility has increased in recent weeks, with the CBOE Volatility Index reaching its highest level of the year on an intraday basis and the benchmark S&P index suffered its first consecutive weekly losses since November.

The Labor Department said 175,000 jobs were added in May, just above the median forecast of economists in a Reuters poll, while the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from April's 7.5 percent. The increase in May's jobless rate was seen as a relatively hopeful sign because it was driven by more workers entering the labor force.

"It was kind of the perfect report - it wasn't so good that people would start worrying again the Fed might start tapering the quantitative easing we've heard rumors of the past couple of weeks," said John Kvantas, executive director and portfolio manager at USAA investments in San Antonio, Texas.

"But it wasn't so bad (that) people would question we are still in trouble with the economy."

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 173.25 points, or 1.15 percent, to 15,213.87. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 15.81 points, or 0.97 percent, to 1,638.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 33.61 points, or 0.98 percent, to 3,457.66.

The Dow was on track for its best daily performance since Feb. 27.

Investors bought stocks and seemed to be cheering the near-term impact of the jobs report after selling equities for most of the week on worries that the Fed may reduce its stimulus. While stocks rallied, the U.S. Treasury market showed a contrasting move with debt prices falling on revived bets the Fed might pare bond purchases later this year.

For the week, the Dow was up 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 was up 0.5 percent, while the Nasdaq was up 0.1 percent.

The rally was broad, with cyclical sectors like industrials and financial stocks among the session's top gainers while telecoms and utilities were the only decliners. The S&P industrial sector index was up 1.5 percent while the energy sector index rose 1 percent.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc rose 1.1 percent to $76.48 and helped lift the Dow after the world's largest retailer said its board had approved a new $15 billion stock-repurchase program, the first in two years.

In company news, video recorder pioneer TiVo Inc said it would receive $490 million after settling a patent lawsuit with Google Inc's Motorola Mobility, Cisco Systems Inc and Time Warner Cable Inc, days before the case was to go to trial. TiVo shares lost 17.3 percent to $11.35.

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