© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened higher on Friday as a sharp slowdown in hiring was interpreted as raising the chances of a substantial fiscal relief package from Congress in short order.

By 9:40 AM ET (1440 GMT), the was up 110 points, or 0.4%, at 30,080. The was up 0.5% and the was up 0.2%.

Earlier, the Labor Department had said that the pace of hiring in the U.S. economy slowed sharply in November, adding only 245,000 new nonfarm jobs. That was the smallest gain since May, and well below expectations for 469,000 new jobs.

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