Investors Put Money Back to Work - TheStreet

Updated from 4:06 p.m. EDT

Tech shares rallied and the major averages all ended higher Friday as investors welcomed news the economy finally produced some jobs in September.

The

Nasdaq

climbed 44 points, or 2.4%, to 1881, capping a week in which it gained 5% thanks to powerful rallies on Wednesday and Friday. The composite index is up better than 35% for the year.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed up 85 points, or 0.9%, at 9572, while the

S&P 500

finished up 10 points, or 1%, at 1030.

Volume was 2 billion shares on the

Nasdaq

, while 1.55 billion shares on the

New York Stock Exchange

.

The Dow closed the week up 259 points, or 2.8%, from last Friday's close of 9313. The S&P 500 added 33 points, or 3.3%, from 997 last Friday.

A corresponding selloff occurred in the bond market Friday, with the 10-year note most falling 1 22/32 to yield 4.20% and the 30-year down 2 16/32, yielding 5.10%.

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 57,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.1%. The numbers were far better than consensus estimates, which had called for a loss of 25,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 6.2%. The government also said far fewer jobs were lost in August than initially reported.

Shares of online job site

Monster Worldwide

(MNST) - Get Report

jumped 10%, or $2.60, closing at $28.48 on the news. Temp-help outfit

Administaff

(ASF)

also finished up $1.07, or 11.3%, to $10.57.

Friday's better-than-expected jobs data coaxed out buyers who were already eager to get back in the market, said Ken Tower, chief market strategist at CyberTrader. "There were a lot of buy orders just waiting to be entered," he said. "When we got some good news, they all got entered."

Tower characterized today's market as part of the bull-bear "push and pull" but said the general trend has resumed to the upside. "The trend is the most important thing for investors to look at because it tells who's dominating: buyers or sellers," Tower said.

"Trends go longer than people think, and that means that picking the top in the uptrend and trying to sell it is just as difficult and as poor a strategy as was trying to buy the bottoms in a bear market," he said.

In other economic news, the Institute for Supply Management reported that business activity in the nonmanufacturing sector increased in September, although at a slower rate than in August. The current month's reading was 63.3 compared with analysts' consensus of 63.0 and a reading of 65.1 last month. It was the sixth-consecutive month of an increase. Fourteen industry groups expanded in September, two reported no change from August and none contracted, the ISM said.

Bonds were losing ground before the jobs data hit after the

Federal Reserve's

Michael Moskow said on Thursday that the U.S. economy will grow at a faster pace in 2004. The president of the Chicago Fed echoed comments this week from Fed President Robert McTeer.

Nasdaq gainers included

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 3.5%,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 5.1%,

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, up 5%, and

Brocade

(BRCD)

which ended 6% higher.

In other corporate news,

GE

(GE) - Get Report

said it could close a deal to merge NBC with assets of the French media giant

Vivendi

(V) - Get Report

. Shares of GE closed up 7 cents, or 0.2%, at $30.82 and Vivendi gained 57 cents, or 3.1% to $18.95.

Elsewhere, coffee-shop chain

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

said late Thursday that same-store sales rose 9% in September over last year. Shares finished up 79 cents, or 2.7%, at $30.22.

In research action, Nomura International raised its recommendation on

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

to buy from neutral on optimism that demand for new cell-phone models will lift the company's fourth-quarter earnings. Nokia added 24 cents, or 1.5%, at $16.80.

Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers upgraded

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

to overweight from equal weight on expectations it will beat average forecasts, and shares of the company closed up $1.75, or 2.5%, at $73.03.

Shares of

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Report

ended up 69 cents, or 2%, at $34.88 after the company was upgraded to equal weight from underweight at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The brokerage sees fourth-quarter sales momentum.

And Merrill Lynch raised its rating on chip-equipment maker

ASML

(ASML) - Get Report

to buy from neutral on the basis of an expected pickup in spending. Shares rose $1.24, or 9%, to $15.06.

Biovail

(BVF)

cut its third-quarter EPS and revenue estimates below guidance, citing a "significant in-transit shipment loss of Wellbutrin XL as a result of a traffic accident." Shares fell $6.67, or 18%, to $31.10.

Overseas markets were higher, with London's FTSE 100 closed up 1.5% at 4274, and Germany's Xetra DAX climbed 4.3% to 3419. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed 1.1% higher at 10,709, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5% to 11,608.