Stock Market Today: Stocks Soar After Weak October Jobs Report

Mega-cap stock Apple fell after earnings, but softer-than-anticipated jobs data gave bulls the upper hand Friday.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Friday's price action put a cap on what has been a stellar week for stocks. The main indexes scored solid gains today as bad-news-is-good-news jobs data more than offset a negative reaction to Apple's (AAPL) earnings report. 

Starting with the monthly payrolls report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning said the U.S. added 150,000 new jobs in October, well below the 170,000 expected by economists. Employment figures for both August and September were revised lower, while the unemployment rate ticked higher to 3.9%. The data also showed that wage growth – a key measure of inflation – slowed in October, to 4.1% annually vs September's 4.3% increase.

"The weaker-than-expected jobs report, the downward revision to the previous month's jobs reports, and the mild increase in the unemployment rate reinforce the market's view that the Federal Reserve’s policy of aggressively raising interest rates is over," says Anthony Denier, CEO of commission-free trading platform Webull.

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Also working in the Fed's favor was this morning's release of the Institute for Supply Management's services purchasing managers' index (PMI), which fell to 51.8% in October from September's reading of 53.6%. While the latest figure remains above the 50% level that indicates expansion, it is the second straight month that growth in the services sector has been slower. 

The service-related businesses surveyed for the index hinted at employment-related challenges, too, said Anthony Nieves, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Services Business Survey Committee, with respondents commenting on rising labor costs and shortages.

Earlier this week, the Fed paused rate hikes for a second straight meeting. According to CME Group, futures traders are now pricing in a 95% chance the central bank will once again hold rates steady at its next meeting in December – and keep them there until June, when there is currently a 37% chance for a quarter-point rate cut.

Apple drops after earnings, Paramount Global pops

It wasn't all about the economy today, though. Investors also took in a number of high-profile earnings reports, most notably one from Apple. While the tech giant said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 13.2% year-over-year to $1.46 per share, revenue slipped 0.7% to $89.5 billion – the latter due in part to slower-than-expected sales in China. 

This marked the fourth straight quarter that Apple has reported declining revenue and the company forecast weak earnings for its December quarter. As a result, AAPL stock shed 0.5%.

Elsewhere, Paramount Global (PARA) – a member of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio in addition to Apple – surged 15.4% after unveiling its quarterly results. The Showtime parent reported higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings of 30 cents per share on $7.1 billion in revenue. PARA also said Q3 revenue in its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming division was up 38% year-over-year and that it expects losses in 2023 DTC to be lower than what they were in 2022.

As for the main indexes, the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4% to 13,478, the S&P 500 gained 0.9% to 4,358, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to 34,061. All three benchmarks finished with their biggest weekly gains of the year, with the Nasdaq up 6.6%, the S&P 500 5.9% higher and the Dow soaring 5.1%.

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Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.