November 1, 2019 / 2:34 PM / 18 days ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record high on U.S. jobs report, China data

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* U.S. jobs growth in Oct. slows less than expected

* Qorvo jumps on $1 bln share buyback, rosy forecast

* Oil producers: Exxon rises, Chevron drops

* Pinterest slumps as revenue misses estimates

* Indexes up: Dow 0.82%, S&P 0.78%, Nasdaq 0.88% (Updates to open)

By Arjun Panchadar

Nov 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose nearly 1% on Friday, taking comfort from October data that showed U.S. jobs growth slowed less than expected and China’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq breached its record level for the first time since July, while the benchmark S&P 500 notched its fourth record high this week.

Both the indexes logged their best month in four in October after an upbeat start to the third-quarter earnings season and a largely positive U.S.-China trade rhetoric.

Most of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher on Friday, with the technology sector, led by Apple Inc , providing the biggest boost.

The Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls data showed jobs growth in October came in at 128,000 compared to expectations of 89,000, according to economists polled by Reuters. However, growth still slowed from September.

The report also showed hiring in the prior two months was stronger than previously estimated, offering assurance that consumers would continue to prop up the slowing economy for a while.

“It’s interesting because there was an expectation of 50,000 jobs being gone simply because of the GM strike but clearly that doesn’t show up,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“That tells me that it was a very strong report.”

Meanwhile, China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October as new export orders rose and plants ramped up production.

On the trade front, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the initial “phase one” trade pact with China appears to be in good shape and is likely to be signed around mid-November, although a finite date is still in question.

At 10:21 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 220.80 points, or 0.82%, at 27,267.03, the S&P 500 was up 23.55 points, or 0.78%, at 3,061.11 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 73.34 points, or 0.88%, at 8,365.70.

Among stocks, oil major Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1.7% after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations, while peer Chevron Corp fell 0.5% as it posted a 36% drop in quarterly profit.

Qorvo Inc jumped 17.2% after the Apple supplier announced a $1 billion share buyback plan and forecast third-quarter revenue above expectations.

Pinterest Inc tumbled 21.6% after the online scrapbook company missed quarterly revenue estimates.

Arista Networks Inc slumped 25.4% after the cloud infrastructure supplier forecast current-quarter revenue much below Wall Street expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.72-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.62-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 30 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 17 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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