New York Report: S&P hits record after weak US jobs numbers

THE DOLLAR slid to a two-year low against the euro and global equity markets rose for a fifth straight session yesterday after weak US jobs data reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will keep its easy money policy intact into 2014.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high, while US Treasuries’ yields fell to the lowest levels in three months on the labour market report.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 in September, the Labor Department said in a report delayed by the shutdown of the federal government. The total was well below economists’ estimates of 180,000 new jobs.

Data for August was revised to show more positions created than previously reported, but revisions to the July figures showed employment gains that were the weakest since June 2012.

Economists and market analysts said the tepid pace of US job growth supported the decision by the Fed in September not to begin to pare its purchases of $85bn a month in bonds.

“Today’s underperforming jobs number fully justifies September's cautious Fed,” said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at WorldWideMarkets.

“Dollar bulls will be discomfited but equities will find the economic logic invigorating.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 75.46 points or 0.49 per cent, to 15,467.66, the S&P 500 gained 10.01 points or 0.57 per cent, to 1,754.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.517 points or 0.24 per cent, to 3,929.566.