U.S. Stocks Soar on Robust Jobs Report

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NEW YORK (The Street) -- Markets jumped on Friday as October's upbeat jobs report bolstered the view that the U.S. economy can expand with benefits to its workforce even if the Federal Reserve opts to reduce the size of its stimulus program.

The U.S. added 204,000 jobs in October with the unemployment rate rising to 7.3% from 7.2% in the previous month, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists were expecting 120,000 jobs, with the 7.3% jobless rate meeting predictions.

In a week in which stocks were poised to decline, the jobs report sent the S&P 500  higher by 1.3% to 1,770.54, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.1% to 15,761.27. The Nasdaq jumped 1.6% to 3,919.23.  For the week, the S&P and Dow rose 0.51% and 0.94%, respectively. The Nasdaq lost 0.07% for the five-day trading period.

"It's a big upside surprise, and of course raises the question, what does the Federal Reserve going to do with stronger economic data in terms of their monetary policy," Ben Garber, an economist at Moody's Analytics said in an interview.

In economic news, U.S. personal income beat forecasts to rise 0.5% in September while personal spending inched up 0.2%, suggesting softer consumption growth but a lift in income growth.  

On the downside, consumer sentiment hit a near two-year low in November, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's survey on Friday.

The index of consumer sentiment fell to 72.0 -- the lowest since December 2011.

In company news, Gap was the top performer in the S&P as share surged 9.8% to $41.43 after saying the apparel-retailer said it expected quarterly profit to beat analysts' estimates. 

Twitter shares tumbled 7.2% to $41.65. The company's shares opened at $45.10 on Thursday, exceeding the $26 a share IPO price before closing at $44.90. The offering raised more than $2 billion and valued the business at $18.34 billion. 

Priceline shares jumped 4.9% to $1,073.20 after it announced higher third-quarter profit of $833 million or $15.72 a share, up from $597 million in the prior period late on Thursday. 

Groupon rose 6.5% to $10.12 despite announcing Thursday that quarterly revenue came in below consensus estimates at $595.1 million. Investors focused on strong growth in North America rather than a decline in international revenue.