Stocks extended an earlier rally by mid-afternoon Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi assured markets the central bank would respond again with further stimulus without delay if the circumstances called for it.
The S&P 500 was up 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2%, and the Nasdaq gained 1.8%.
Draghi said in a speech on Friday in New York that there was "no doubt" the ECB would introduce more stimulus if needed. Stocks were beaten up on Thursday as investors expressed disappointment the central bank did not boost its current stimulus measures as markets had expected.
The November jobs report removed some of the uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's rates decision in two weeks. The U.S. added 211,000 jobs to payrolls in November, roughly in line with expectations. The report marks the last key data on the state of the labor market before the Federal Reserve meets Dec. 15-16. The unemployment rate remained stable at 5% and average hourly earnings growth slowed to 0.2%.
"The November employment report will easily reassure the Fed that the threshold on the employment side of their mandate to raise rates has been met," BNP Paribas analysts wrote in a note. "The Fed's recent rhetoric suggests that a December rate hike is a done deal while we are looking at a possible bump in the road next year that would force the Fed to pause its every-other meeting rate hike schedule."
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries confirmed that it had revised its oil production ceiling up to 31.5 million barrels a day, above a previous cap of 30 million. OPEC said the revision reflects "current actual" output. The member countries have held production at record highs to maintain market share as crude prices tanked. West Texas Intermediate fell 1.8% to $40.34 a barrel.
Energy was the only sector in the red on Friday. Among its worst performers, Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) fell 1.2%, Chevron (CVX - Get Report) sank 1.9%, and BP (BP - Get Report) slid 1.7%. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE - Get Report) fell 1%.
Gap (GPS - Get Report) shares slid after the retailer reported an 8% drop in same-store sales in November, steeper than an expected 6.3% decline. The company said sales fell 4% at its namesake stores, 19% at Banana Republic stores and 9% at Old Navy.
Avon Products (AVP - Get Report) surged 10% on reports it is close to selling its North American business. The cosmetics company is reportedly in advanced talks with Cerberus Capital, according to Dow Jones.
Norfolk Southern (NSC - Get Report) fell after rejecting Canadian Pacific's (CP - Get Report) acquisition offer, calling it "grossly inadequate." The railway company previously received an unsolicited bid worth $46.72 a share, a 10% premium at the time of the offer.
Barnes & Noble (BKS) tumbled 21% after swinging to a quarterly loss in its second quarter. The bookstore chain reported a loss of 52 cents a share, wider than an expected loss of 31 cents. Sales fell nearly 5%, dragged on by a 32% decline in sales of its NOOK e-reader.