US stocks tick up after jobs report

New York, Jan 7 (IANS) US stocks reversed early losses to trade higher as Wall Street pondered over the country’s non-farm payrolls report for December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday rose 61.26 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 19,960.55, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 added 8.62 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 2,277.62. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 35.20 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 5,523.13.

US total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, missing market consensus of 175,000, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 per cent, the Labor Department announced on Friday.

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased 10 cents to $26.00, after edging down by 2 cents in November. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.9 per cent.

“Treasury yields are higher this morning on the combination of tepid job growth and faster-than-expected wage inflation. The two together suggest it is becoming more difficult to find employees,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

Meanwhile, the US Commerce Department reported that the goods and services deficit was $45.2 billion in November, up $2.9 billion from October’s revised reading.

In a separate report, the apartment said that new orders for manufactured goods in November decreased $11.3 billion or 2.4 per cent to $458.3 billion, following four consecutive monthly increases.

On Thursday, US stocks closed mixed, with the Nasdaq Composite Index eclipsing previous closing record, as investors digested a batch of economic reports.

–IANS

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