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US stocks gain as unemployment hits 50-year low

Wall Street stocks rose early Friday after a US government report showed unemployment at a 50-year low, mitigating somewhat the fears of a recession.

US stocks have been under pressure much of the week following lackluster economic reports, but rebounded after the employment report said the US added 136,000 jobs in September, which was below expectations.

But the jobless rate fell to 3.5 percent, matching a rate last seen in December 1969.

National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun called the report "comforting," while cautioning that employment conditions are often a lagging economic indicators.

FTN Financial's Chris Low said the report was "a little better than expected, but still not good,"

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,330.74, up 0.5 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.5 percent to 2,924.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6 percent to 7,918.80.

Among individual companies, Apple rose 1.7 percent after a Nikkei report said the company boosted production of new iPhones in response to unexpectedly strong demand for new models.

HP plunged 9.0 percent after unveiling plans to cut more than 10 percent of its global workforce, which would mean up to 9,000 jobs. The company said that the reorganization would save about $1 billion annually by the end of fiscal 2022.