Stocks Opened Higher in Wake of Jobs Report

U.S. stocks opened in positive territory but squeezed out modest early gains on Friday after data showed a stronger-than-expected rise in October nonfarm payrolls and upward revisions to hiring data for August and September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 0.91 points to 13,233.53, while the S&P 500 Index advanced 1.85 points to 1,429.44. The Nasdaq Composite was off 2.04 points to 3,018.02.

The U.S. created a better-than-expected 171,000 jobs in October and hiring rose faster in the prior two months that previously believed, but the politically sensitive unemployment rate edged up slightly to 7.9%, the government said Friday.

Economic damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy could reach $50 billion, according to new estimates that are more than double a previous forecast. Some economists warned on Thursday that the storm could shave a half percentage point off the nation’s economic growth in the current quarter.

U.S. oil major Chevron (CVX) said on Friday that its Angolan subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Company had declared force majeure at the Kuito offshore oil terminal on October 29, without giving a reason.

Royal Bank of Scotland faces fines for its part in a global interest rate setting scandal, a matter the bank said on Friday it was keen to settle as soon as possible.

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