By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks on Wall Street rallied on Friday after strong jobs data made it almost certain the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in two weeks, while a surprise move by major oil exporters to keep pumping near-record output pushed crude prices down.
The dollar rose, gold climbed about 2 percent and base metals, including copper, gained after the U.S. jobs report for November paved the way for the Fed to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade at a two-day meeting that ends Dec. 16.
The U.S. economy created 211,000 jobs in November, the U.S. Labor Department said. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported.
“The numbers did not disappoint. We cleared the last hurdle for a rate increase,” said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets in St. Louis.
U.S. stocks jumped more than 2 percent, with the Dow industrials and the SP 500 posting their biggest gains in three months. All 10 major SP 500 sectors climbed except the energy index (.SPNY), which fell after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to cap near-record output.
Stocks rallied in a sign investors are taking their cue from economic performance instead of central bank monetary policy.
“We’re going to see the market focussed on what the U.S. economy is doing, rather than Fed policy,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index gained 0.8 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) closed up 369.96 points, or 2.12 percent, to 17,847.63. The SP 500 (.SPX) gained 42.07 points, or 2.05 percent, to 2,091.69 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 104.74 points, or 2.08 percent, to 5,142.27.
Less-than-expected tweaks to the European Central Bank’s stimulus package on Thursday sent markets into a tailspin but will make it easier for the Fed to raise rates, said Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer of equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management.
The euro, which gained 3 percent on Thursday, will ease the impact of a strong dollar on U.S. corporate earnings, and should help bolster equity markets, he said.
“I can see from now until the end of the year moderate gains, growing into a nice steady pace,” Aguilar said.
OIL SHARES DROP
European shares ended lower, with oil stocks (.SXEP) falling almost 2 percent on the news from the OPEC meeting in Vienna.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) fell 0.34 percent to its lowest level in almost three weeks.
Brent crude oil futures (LCOc1) settled down 84 cents to $43.00 a barrel. U.S. crude futures (CLc1) dropped $1.11 to settle at $39.97 a barrel, just below the key price level of $40 that has been a major battleground for traders.
Spot gold (XAU=) rose as much as 2.5 percent to its highest in almost three weeks at $1,088.70 an ounce, and was trading at $1,086.15.
The dollar (JPY=) was last up 0.57 percent at 123.16 yen, while the euro (EUR=) slid 0.62 percent against the dollar to $1.0870. The dollar index (.DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.73 percent at 98.337 (.DXY).
The gap between 10-year U.S. and German bond yields narrowed to its tightest in more than a month on Friday as investors bet that a divergence in monetary policy between the Fed and the ECB may be less stark than previously thought.
The euro on Thursday made its biggest one-day move in more than six years in a dramatic reversal of its recent rally after ECB President Mario Draghi surprised investors with less monetary stimulus than markets expected.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were last up 15/32 in price to yield 2.2746 percent.
Yields on German 10-year yields climbed 6 basis points on Friday, rising above 0.70 percent for the first time in 2-1/2-months .
(Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Bernadette Baum and Dan Grebler)