November 1, 2019 / 4:04 PM / 14 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

* Exxon rises after profit beat

* Pinterest slumps as revenue misses estimates

* Indexes up: Dow 0.93%, S&P 0.76%, Nasdaq 0.86% (Changes quote, adds details; Updates prices)

By Arjun Panchadar

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes advanced on Friday, as investors took comfort from data that showed U.S. jobs growth slowed less than expected in October and China’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in more than two years.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq hit a record high 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.

Eight 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 closely watched monthly employment report also showed hiring in the prior two months was stronger than previously estimated, offering some assurance that consumers would continue to support the slowing economy.

The largely positive jobs report helped eclipse the impact of data showing a contraction in the manufacturing sector for the third straight month.

“Investors are back in the glass-is-half-full mode,” said Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group. “(They) are looking past the ISM and focusing more on the better than expected labor report this morning.”

Earlier in the day, sentiment was supported by data showing China manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in October, alleviating concerns about a slowdown in demand from the world’s second largest economy as a result of U.S. tariffs.

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 11:24 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 251.81 points, or 0.93%, at 27,298.04, the S&P 500 was up 23.09 points, or 0.76%, at 3,060.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 71.30 points, or 0.86%, at 8,363.66.

Among stocks, oil major Exxon Mobil Corp rose 2.5% after it beat recently lowered third-quarter profit expectations.

The energy sector gained more than 2%, rising the most among S&P sectors.

Qorvo Inc jumped 18% after the Apple supplier announced a $1 billion share buyback plan and forecast third-quarter revenue above expectations.

Pinterest Inc tumbled 21% after the online scrapbook company missed quarterly revenue estimates.

Arista Networks Inc slumped 24% after the cloud infrastructure supplier forecast current-quarter revenue much below Wall Street expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.91-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.34-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 71 new highs and 23 new lows. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Anil D’Silva)

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