U.S. Markets End the Week On a Positive Note (M, JCP, ME, ORCL)

The Department of Labor released August’s employment numbers on Friday. Overall, August saw a gain of 67,000 jobs in the private sector, a number that exceeded expectations. Although the unemployment rate also increased to 9.6 percent, the news was not devastating because most of that increase was the result of the loss of over 100,000 temporary census jobs as the census project came to a close–an event that was expected. Most importantly, the release cited a private sector gain of 763,000 jobs over the past eight months. You can read the full report here.

This positive employment development news comes on the heels of  the Labor Department’s report on Thursday, which showed decreased unemployment claims from the last full week of August, and the positive retail news yesterday from Macy’s (NYSE: M) and JC Penney (NYSE: JCP), and resulted in U.S. markets extending their 3-day rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 128.36 points to 10,448.46. The Nasdaq gained 33.74 points to 2,233.75 and the S&P 500 rose 14.40 points to 1,104.50.

European markets were up on Friday while Asian markets were mixed.

Stocks in the news: Mariner Energy Inc (NYSE: ME), Oracle Corp (NASDAQ: ORCL).