Stocks Struggled after September Jobs Report

U.S. stocks opened modestly higher and turned negative in the early trading on Friday, following a payroll report that came in below expectations but was not seen as derailing the expectation that the Federal Reserve would raise rates at its December meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 45.33 points, or 0.25%, to 18,223.17. The S&P 500 rose was off 5.40 points, or 0.25%, to 2,155.37. The Nasdaq Composite lost 13.11 points, or 0.25%, to 5,293.74.

The US economy created 156,000 new jobs in September, another solid gain in employment that’s likely to prod the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the next few months. The unemployment rate rose a notch to 5% for the first time since April, the government said Friday, though that was largely because 444,000 people entered the labor force.

Oil held near $50 a barrel after Russia cast doubt over a deal any time soon with OPEC, following the group’s pledge to reduce output.West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $50.37 a barrel, down 7 cents.Brent for December settlement fell 18 cents to $52.33 a barrel.

Industrial manufacturing giant United Technologies will offer pension buyouts to some retirees and transfer other pension debts to an insurance company in a move designed to alleviate financial pressure on the company.

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