The stock markets in the United States gained today, ending the second consecutive weekly loss in the S&P 500 index. The increase was driven by the better-than-expected jobs report and the growth of the service industries due to the strong confidence in the U.S. economy.

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The Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September, higher than the monthly gain of 213,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Economists predicted an addition of 215,000 jobs last month.
The unemployment rate declined to 5.9%.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners commented, “This is considered good news in the market today because it’s been validated by a lot of economic data coming out supporting job growth and economic growth. I don’t think this changes the Fed’s plans at all.”

On the other hand, Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management said, “This allays the fears about growth and offsets what we’re seeing in Europe.” He also noted that the unemployment rate is declining consistently, which bodes well for the future GDP growth and corporate profits.

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U.S. stock markets declined this week as investors were concerns about the signs of economic weakness in Europe, geopolitical conflicts and the possibility that the Federal Reserve would increase the interest rates. Policy makers are monitoring the improvement of the labor market and other economic data to determine the time of the interest rate hike.

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,008.02 (+1.23%)
• S&P 500- 1,967.72 (1.11%)
• NASDAQ- 4,475.62 (+1.03%)
• Russell 2000- 1,104.95 (+0.78%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,133.37 (+0.87%)
• FTSE 100 Index- 6,527.91 (+1.26%)
• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,159.68 (-1.99%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 15,708.65 (+0.30%)
• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,064.56 (+0.57%)
• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,450.99 (+0.13%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NASDAQ:CLF) declined almost 17% to $8.32 per share after analysts at Nomura Holdings downgraded their rating for the stock from Buy to Sell.

Covidien Plc (NYSE:COV) gained almost 6% to $93.89 per share. Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) disclosed its intention to use approximately $16 billion in external financing to complete its deal to acquire Covidien. The shares of Medtronic increased more than 3% to $65.02 per share.

The shares of Mylan Inc (NASDAQ:MYL) rose more than 8% to $50.23 per share. The company estimated that it would be able to deliver earnings of at least $1.12 per share for the third-quarter. Its previous earnings estimate was $0.95 per share.

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