(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended on a modestly higher note amid hopes about further stimulus from the Federal Reserve following weaker-than-expected monthly jobs data.
S&P 500 Index added 0.40 percent to finish at 1,437.91. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11 percent to end at 13,306.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 0.02 percent to close at 3,136.42.
The Labor Department reported that just 96,000 jobs were added in August after a revised 141,000 increase in July. Economists expected addition of just over 120,000 jobs. Unemployment rate unexpectedly edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent. The labor data comes a day after upbeat weekly jobless claims and private sector data.
The Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) two-day policy meeting starts on September 12 and the disappointing jobs data has fueled optimism about another round of quantitative easing.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed on a sharply higher note, buoyed by remarks from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who detailed the central bank's new bond-purchase plan to protect the euro. Draghi said the new bond-buying program will provide a "fully effective backstop" against market volatility and the measures will safeguard the monetary policy transmission in all countries in the euro zone area.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: INTC, P, STI, COO, BID, SWHC, ADNC, ZQK, PPHM
In corporate news, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) lost 3.61 percent after the world's largest chip maker reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter and withdrew its full-year view, citing softness in the enterprise PC market segment and slowing demand in emerging markets.
Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P) shares plunged 16.71 percent amid investor concerns that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may launch a competing streaming-radio service. Apple is in negotiations to create its own streaming radio service similar to the one operated by Pandora, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources close to the matter.
SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) rose 3.07 percent after the company announced a set of actions in the third quarter that improve risk profile and strengthen balance sheet.
Cooper Companies Inc. (NYSE:COO) jumped 8.49 percent after the medical products company raised its full-year earnings and revenue view above consensus following upbeat quarterly results.
Sothebys (NYSE:BID) added 6.37 percent after the auctioneer of fine and decorative art disclosed it has entered into a 10-year equity joint venture with a state-owned company in China to conduct both auctions and private selling exhibitions within other designated venues in Beijing.
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SWHC) jumped 11.89 percent after the maker of firearms boosted its full year forecast, spurred by strong demand for its guns.
Audience Inc. (NASDAQ:ADNC) tumbled 63.41 percent after the company said its processor IP is unlikely to be enabled in Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next generation mobile phones.
Quiksilver Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) surged 16.67 percent after the company reported an increase in quarterly earnings on lower provision for income taxes. The outdoor sports lifestyle company's adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) shares touched a new 5-year high after the biopharmaceutical company's mid-stage trial showed the company's Bavituximab lung cancer drug significantly improved overall survival. Shares closed 46.58 percent higher.
European markets ended in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.66 percent to close at 7,882.80. France's CAC40 rose 0.26 percent to finish at 3,519.05. U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.30 percent to end at 5,794.80.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumped 3.70 percent to finish at 2,127.76. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.20 percent to end at 8,871.65. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 3.09 percent to close at 19,802.16. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,683.73, up 1.95 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Crude oil futures advanced 0.85 percent to $96.340 per barrel while natural gas futures fell 3.17 percent to $2.688 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures added 1.89 percent to $1,737.8 per ounce and silver futures jumped 3.00 percent to $33.655 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro jumped 1.37 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2804. The British pound rose 0.48 percent against the greenback to 1.6009, while the dollar dropped 0.75 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.2700.