Stocks Opened Higher after Solid Jobs Data

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday after the solid jobs report strengthened the Federal Reserve’s case for hiking interest rates at its December meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 151.86 points, or 0.87%, to 17,629.53. The S&P 500 gained 19.50 points, or 0.95%, to 2,069.12. The Nasdaq Composite was up 47.75 points, or 0.95%, to 5,085.27.

U.S. job growth increased solidly in November in a show of the economy’s resilience, which most likely paves the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month for the first time in nearly a decade. Nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in October as exports fell to a three-year low, suggesting that trade could again weigh on economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap rose 3.4 percent to $43.9 billion.

OPEC looked unlikely to take steps to cut oil production to lift languishing prices at a meeting on Friday, potentially worsening one of the worst crude gluts in history. Benchmark Brent oil futures (LCOc1) are below $45 per barrel, just a few dollars above their 6-year lows.

Avon Products Inc. is close to selling part of its business to a private-equity firm just as an activist investor is readying its own campaign to turn around the struggling 130-year-old beauty-products seller. Avon (AVP,) is in advanced talks to sell its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management LP, according to people familiar with the matter.

In another ambitious attempt to buy a large railroad operator, Canadian Pacific has been rebuffed. Norfolk Southern said on Friday that its board had rejected Canadian Pacific’s $28 billion offer, which was made last month, saying that it undervalued Norfolk Southern and the chance for achieving regulatory approval was too low.

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