NEW YORK (AFP/APP): Wall Street stocks finished the week on a positive note Friday following solid labor and consumer data, while the dollar pushed higher.
The US economy added 199,000 jobs in November, while the jobless rate ticked down to 3.7 percent from 3.9 percent, according to Department of Labor figures, better than analyst expectations.
“So far, that soft-landing is reinforced by this report,” said Angelo Kourkafas, investment strategist at Edward Jones. “The labor market remains strong but it’s slightly easing.”
All three major indices advanced, with the broad-based S&P 500 winning 0.4 percent.
“All in all, this report should make you less anxious about a recession,” said Callie Cox at eToro. “The job market is still in a good place, and wage growth is still coming down. That’s what the Fed wants to see.”
US equities initially wavered after the data boosted Treasury yields amid expectations that the strong labor figures could delay the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates.
But Kourkafas cited robust consumer confidence data also released Friday as a positive catalyst, noting that the report from the University of Michigan showed improving sentiment about inflation.
The dollar advanced against the euro and other major currencies following the upbeat data.
Elsewhere, European equities advanced, with Frankfurt’s DAX again striking new record trading and closing highs.
But equities in Tokyo suffered another drop, with the Nikkei 225 falling 1.7 percent. The index experienced a similar decline on Thursday following a surge in the yen.
Oil prices jumped more than two percent, finally advancing after six straight down days in a move analysts attributed to a technical bounce.
Among individual companies, Honeywell International dropped 1.6 percent after reaching a deal to acquire Carrier Global’s security business for $5 billion. Carrier climbed 4.5 percent.