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Job Growth Pace Cheers Wall Street

A new report showing the nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in September caused stocks to leap Friday morning, but the gain nearly evaporated by the closing bell.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 11.05 points at 8,038.58 after surrendering most of a 120-point jump.

The Labor Department said unemployment held steady at 4.9 percent last month, when employers added 215,000 jobs to their payrolls.

Meanwhile, the average work-week slipped to 34.5 hours in September and average hourly earnings of non-supervisory workers rose a modest 4 cents.

In other reports this week:

The National Association of Purchasing Management said its index measuring the industrial economy fell to 54.2 percent last month from 56.8 percent in August.

The Conference Board said its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.2 percent in August to 104.3 from 104.1 in July.

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