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US STOCKS-Apple juices Wall St after mixed jobs report
November 3, 2017 / 6:59 PM / 19 days ago

US STOCKS-Apple juices Wall St after mixed jobs report

* U.S. job growth speeds up, wages flat

* Apple shares surge to record after upbeat forecast

* Qualcomm jumps after Broadcom takeover reports

* Indexes up: Dow 0.11 pct, S&P 0.32 pct, Nasdaq 0.73 pct (Updates to late afternoon)

By Lewis Krauskopf

Nov 3 (Reuters) - A surge in shares of heavyweight Apple helped push up major Wall Street indexes on Friday, as investors also assessed a mixed U.S. labor market report.

Shares of Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, rose 2.8 percent as shoppers streamed into the company’s stores to buy its latest iPhone. Apple also gave a better-than-expected sales forecast for the holiday shopping season.

U.S. job growth accelerated in October after hurricane-related disruptions in the prior month, the Labor Department said. But wages grew at their slowest annual pace in more than 1-1/2 years in a sign that inflation probably will continue to undershoot the Federal Reserve’s 2-percent target.

“It kind of confirms this Goldilocks-type scenario where it’s steady growth with really not a lot of inflationary pressure,” said Michael Dowdall, investment strategist at BMO Global Asset Management in Chicago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.93 points, or 0.11 percent, to 23,543.19, the S&P 500 gained 8.28 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,588.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.96 points, or 0.73 percent, to 6,763.90.

Apple was easily the biggest individual boost to the three indexes. The stock also helped boost the tech sector, which climbed 0.9 percent and led all major S&P 500 groups.

All three indexes were on track to record gains for the week, which saw a series of significant events, including the appointment of a new Fed chair and the long-awaited unveiling of a tax-cut bill from U.S. President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Third-quarter corporate reports also have continued at a heavy pace. With more than 400 of S&P 500 companies having reported, earnings for the quarter are expected to have climbed 8 percent, compared to an expectation of a 5.9 percent rise at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

American International Group shares sank 4.8 percent as investors reacted to a surprise $836 million boost to the insurance giant’s reserves.

Starbucks shares rose 2.3 percent following results.

In other corporate news, Qualcomm shares surged 14.9 percent after reports that Broadcom is exploring a deal to buy the smartphone chip maker. Broadcom shares rose 6.3 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored advancers. (Additional reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Nick Zieminski)

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