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NEW YORK: Wall Street’s main indexes advanced on Friday after a softer-than-expected jobs report revived hopes of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates this year, while gains in Apple and Amgen also helped.

US job growth slowed more than expected in April and the increase in annual wages fell below 4% for the first time in nearly three years. The unemployment rate came in higher than estimated.

That prompted traders to boost bets that the Fed will deliver its first interest rate cut this year in September.

“Worries about wage pressures have dragged on the market recently and today’s number relieves some of those fears,” said David Russell, global head of market strategy at TradeStation.

“The first quarter had several difficult numbers on the inflation front but the second quarter might be starting on a cooler footing. The case for rate cuts got a little stronger today.”

All three major Wall Street indexes were headed for weekly gains.

Yields across government bonds fell after the data, with the yield on the 10-year note last at 4.509%.

The CBOE Volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, touched its lowest level in a month.

The latest economic data followed the Fed’s more dovish-than-expected interest rate guidance in its latest policy meeting.

Separately on Friday, data showed the US services sector contracted in March, while a measure of prices paid by businesses for inputs jumped.

Market participants also parsed commentary from policymakers. Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said inflation should continue to decline even as the Fed holds rates steady at current levels, while reiterating her willingness to raise the policy rate if progress peters out or reverses.

Among the biggest stock moves for the day, Apple jumped 6.7%, outpacing other megacap stocks after the iPhone maker unveiled a record $110 billion share buyback program and beat modest expectations for quarterly results and forecasts.

Information technology led sectoral gains, up 3%.

Amgen climbed 13.1% as the biotechnology firm hinted at encouraging data from a mid-stage study of its experimental weight-loss drug MariTide.

At 11:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 430.99 points, or 1.13%, to 38,656.65, the S&P 500 gained 56.02 points, or 1.10%, to 5,120.02 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 301.44 points, or 1.90%, to 16,142.27.

Expedia fell 14.1% after the online travel agency cut its full-year revenue growth forecast as gross bookings were hit by a drag in its vacation rental platform.

Of the 397 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date in the first quarter, 76.8% beat analysts’ expectations, compared with the historical average of 67%, according to LSEG data.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.35-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.13-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 106 new highs and 44 new lows.

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