U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Friday, extending a monster rally in equities that saw the big three indexes sweep to their biggest weekly gains of 2023. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA rose about 222 points, or 0.7%, ending near 34,061 on Friday to score a 5.1% weekly gain, according to preliminary FactSet data. The S&P 500 index SPX gained 0.9% Friday and 5.9% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP climbed 1.4% for a 6.6% weekly gain. Stocks rallied Friday after an October jobs report suggested some softening in what has been a robust labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s dramatic rate hikes to fight inflation. That reignited hopes that the Fed might make a policy pivot to a regime of lower interest rates next year, after tough talk in recent months on the need to likely keep them elevated for longer than earlier anticipated. With that backdrop, bond yields tumbled, with the 10-year Treasury yield BX:TMUBMUSD10Y falling back to 4.557% after briefly touching 5% in recent weeks. Treasury exchange traded funds also rallied, including with the popular iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF, TLT which booked a 3.9% weekly gain, according to FactSet. The rally left represented the best weekly percentage gain for the Dow since Oct. 28, 2022, and the best for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq since November 11, 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
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