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* U.S. jobs growth slowed in September
* All three indexes set for weekly gains
* Indexes: Dow up 0.04%, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 0.24%
Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks oscillated between gains and
losses on Friday after data showed U.S. jobs rose far less than
expected in September, but not slow enough to throw the Federal
Reserve off its presumed course of tapering asset purchases this
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, with defensive
real estate, healthcare and utilities
among the top losers.
The energy sector jumped 2.9%, while a rise in
mega-cap growth shares Microsoft, Facebook Inc
and Bank of America provided the biggest boost to the
The banking sub-index gained 0.7%, tracking a rise
in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to its
highest level since June 4.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was weighed down by declines in shares
of broadband and cable operator Charter Communications Inc
and media company Comcast Corp which fell
4.6% and 3.3%, respectively, after downbeat brokerage
The Labor Department's closely watched nonfarm payrolls
report showed the U.S. economy created the fewest jobs in nine
months in September amid a drop in hiring at schools and worker
shortages. While unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2% in
August, average hourly earnings rose by a more-than-expected
"All in all, it is still consistent with continued job
growth overall. It may not be as strong as we hoped but it is
still showing signs of improvement," said Scott Brown, chief
economist at Raymond James, St. Petersburg, Florida.
"The Fed has cited sustained improvement in labor market for
tapering (and) this adds to the cumulative evidence."
The weak data did not spur changes to rate hike expectations
either. Futures on the federal funds rate has priced in a
quarter-point tightening either by November or December next
The numbers follow better-than-expected private jobs data
and weekly jobless claims report, while a temporary reprieve
from U.S. Senate agreeing to raise the federal government's
$28.4 trillion debt limit set the three major U.S. indexes for
At 11:39 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 13.23 points, or 0.04%, at 34,768.17, the S&P 500
was up 0.73 points, or 0.02%, at 4,400.49, and the Nasdaq
Composite was down 35.24 points, or 0.24%, at 14,618.77.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.17-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a
1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and three new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 68 new highs and 65 new lows.
(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; additional reporting by
Susan Mathew, Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Anisha Sircar, Editing by