US stocks rally after strong jobs report

New York, March 5 (IANS) The US stocks ended higher on Friday after volatile trading, with all three major indices on a four-day winning streak, as investors sifted through the upbeat jobs report for indications of the country’s economic conditions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.87 points, or 0.37 percent, to 17,006.77. The S&P 500 added 6.59 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,999.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 9.60 points, or 0.20 percent, to 4,717.02, Xinhua news agency reported.

The US total non-farm payroll employment increased by 242,000 in February, topping market expectations, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, the US Labour Department announced on Friday.

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls declined 3 cents to $25.35, following an increase of 12 cents in January. Average hourly earnings have risen by 2.2 percent over the year.

said the upbeat jobs data pointed to a modest recovery in the US economy, and create conditions for the Federal Reserve to gradually raise interest rates this year.

“Lots of poor quality jobs might encourage the Fed to raise rate, but falling wages and hours should keep them at bay in March at least,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

Meanwhile, the goods and services deficit was 45.7 billion U.S. dollars in January, up 1 billion dollars from the revised level of 44.7 billion dollars in December, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday.

Overseas, Chinese shares have sat on gains for four-consecutive days by closing marginally higher on Friday, sustained by the financial heavyweights. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to close at 2,874.15 points.

European equities jumped on Friday as investors cheered on the rally in mining stocks. German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange moved up 0.74 percent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index added 1.13 percent.

In a weekly basis, all three major indices posted solid gains, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq surging 2.2 percent, 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

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