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US stocks rally after downbeat jobs report

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New York: US stocks traded lower as investors believed that the possibility of a September rate hike became lower following the release of a disappointing nonfarm jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday rose 89.10 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 18,508.40, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 added 8.34 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 2,179.20.

The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 21.58 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 5,248.78.

US total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, well below market consensus of 175,000, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $25.73. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 per cent.

Investors were closely watching the jobs report as they looked for more clues about when the Federal Reserve may raise rates.

In the past weeks, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer have both indicated that a rate increase could occur within the next three months in an effort to resume normalization of monetary policy.

However, a weaker-than-expected August jobs report eased fears that the Fed would begin its next rate hike as soon as September, since the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to meet on September 20-21.

On Thursday, US stocks closed mixed after wavering between small gains and losses, as Wall Street digested an array of economic data.

IANS

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