US stocks rise after mixed December jobs report but weekly losses remain in sight
- US stocks rose Friday after a mixed December jobs report.
- Headline hiring was stronger than expected at 223,000, but wages slowed by more than anticipated.
US stocks rose Friday after the government's jobs report for December showed wage growth for American workers slowed, with pay in focus as the Federal Reserve works to tamp down high inflation.
The Labor Department said average hourly earnings rose 0.3% last month, less than the 0.4% consensus estimate from a Bloomberg survey of economists. Headline hiring of 223,000 was more robust than the 200,000 consensus estimate. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% from 3.6%.
While stocks advanced, the holiday-shortened week that kicked off trading in 2023 may still leave key equity gauges lower. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were looking at a fifth straight week of losses.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Friday:
- S&P 500: 3,834.60, up 0.70%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,212.01, up 0.86% (281.93 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 10,355.04, up 0.48%
"A lower unemployment rate and weaker average hourly earnings growth is certainly going to get equity market bulls' attention," Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, in a note.
"Yet, with the unemployment rate back to the historic low of 3.5%, how realistic is it to expect wage growth to move meaningfully lower? The Fed will likely be skeptical," Shah added. "And so, with the record low unemployment rate indicating that there is still so much work ahead of them, Fed policy rates are set to rise above 5% within just a few months and a hard landing looks to be the most likely outcome this year."
Among individual stocks, Tesla fell after the electric vehicle maker cut its prices on its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in China.
Here's what else is happening today:
- The parent company of crypto lender Genesis reportedly has closed its wealth management unit.
- Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman sees just a 5% chance the S&P 500 pares back the losses it's logged since March 2022.
- WWE shares soared following a surprise comeback announcement by former CEO Vince McMahon to the wrestling group.
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