Stocks Ended at Multi-year Highs

U.S. stocks held steady at four-year highs on Friday, closing out their best week since June, after August jobs data raised the prospects for another round of monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve. The Dow industrials closed up 14.64 points, or 0.11%, at 13,306.64, its highest since Dec. 2007. The Nasdaq Composite edged up by 0.61 point to 3,136.42, its highest since Nov. 2000, and the S&P 500 ended 5.8 points, or 0.40%, higher at 1,437.92, its highest since Jan. 2008.

Job growth slowed sharply in August, the government reported Friday, with the data reinforcing concern about the weak labor market and triggering speculation that the Federal Reserve may take aggressive action in a bid to underpin the U.S. economy. Nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 96,000 in August, well shy of estimates and down from 141,000 jobs added in July.

Nokia will start selling its new smartphone, potentially its last chance to break into the most profitable part of the mobile phone market and secure its future, in November, sources at European telecoms operators said on Friday.

Trader Glencore has raised its offer for miner Xstrata in a last-ditch attempt to rescue one of the sector’s largest ever deals, after months of opposition from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and other shareholders. After early excitement in the market on Friday, however, it remained unclear whether the revised proposal would succeed.

Oil prices rose on Friday in volatile trading. U.S. October crude rose 89 cents to settle at $96.42 a barrel, below the 200-day moving average of $96.62, after trading from $94.08 to $96.74 during the session.

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