* U.S. employers hire more in October than expected
* Energy shares weak, Chevron drops after results
* Starbucks raises outlook, U.S. sales beat expectation
* Dow down 0.3 pct, S&P 500 off 0.2 pct, Nasdaq down 0.2 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped in a volatile
session on Friday that took the major indexes between gains and
losses as a stronger-than-expected payrolls report was offset by
weakness in energy and materials shares.
Employers added 171,000 people to their payrolls last month,
the Labor Department said on Friday. The number exceeded
forecasts, and the government also said 84,000 more jobs were
created in August and September than initially estimated. Still,
sustained job gains of this magnitude would only bring the
unemployment rate down slowly.
"The report itself was good, but just not good enough,
especially after the pre-rally we had yesterday," said Todd
Schoenberger, managing principal at the BlackBay Group, in New
York, referring to a 1.1-percent surge in the S&P 500 on
Thursday, the index's best day since Sept. 13.
The latest jobs report, which is the last one before the
U.S. presidential election on Tuesday, could boost President
Barack Obama's fortunes at the ballot box, though polls continue
to indicate a close race between Obama and the Republican
candidate, Mitt Romney.
"With the election next week, and the outcome of that still
so uncertain, some modest downward pressure is to be expected
for the rest of the day," Schoenberger said.
Materials shares were the day's weakest, with the S&P
materials index falling 1.2 percent. Newmont Mining Corp
dropped 6.2 percent to $49.92 after its profits missed
Chevron Corp, a Dow component, fell 2.2 percent to
$109 after the second-largest U.S. oil company posted a profit
that missed expectations. Chesapeake Energy also weighed
on energy stocks as its shares fell 5.7 percent to $18.93, far
outrunning a 2 percent drop in the price of crude oil.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 35.94
points, or 0.27 percent, to 13,196.68. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index shed 2.14 points, or 0.15 percent, at 1,425.45. The
Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 7.14 points, or 0.24
percent, to 3,012.92.
The S&P 500 was still on track for its best weekly gain
since the week ended Sept. 16, lifted by a rally Thursday, when
the index enjoyed its best day in seven weeks, thanks to bullish
consumer confidence and private-sector jobs data.
The current trading week has been shortened by a historic
two-day market closure on Monday and Tuesday, spurred by the
superstorm Sandy's devastating sweep through the U.S. Northeast.
The S&P 500 index is down more 2 percent from a recent peak
in September, and is below its 50-day moving average, amid
investor caution ahead of the election and tough government
budget negotiations at the end of the year.
Starbucks Corp jumped 10.9 percent to $51.69 after
raising its profit forecast for the fiscal year as sales in the
United States, its top market, beat expectations, providing the
company optimism that has eluded much of the U.S. restaurant
industry in recent months.
Professional social network LinkedIn Corp beat Wall
Street's third-quarter profit and revenue targets, as
advertising rates increased and sales from its hiring services
nearly doubled. The shares rose 1.1 percent to $107.98, after
earlier touching an intraday high at $114.69.
Restoration Hardware shares soared 32 percent to
$31.67 in their market debut after the upscale furniture
retailer's initial public offering was priced at the high end of
the expected range. The shares hit an intraday high at $33.15 -
up 38.1 percent from the IPO price of $24.
From New York City's Staten Island to the popular beach
towns of the Jersey Shore, rescuers and officials continued to
face widespread destruction Friday wrought by Sandy, as well as
a rising death toll and frustration over delayed relief and fuel
Verizon may take another two weeks to restore
telecommunication services for its customers after flooding and
power outages knocked out services during superstorm Sandy,
according to a top executive at the company. The stock was down
0.2 percent at $45.06.