- POSTED: 11 Jan 2014 06:07
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US stocks on Friday recovered from losses to end mostly higher after a surprisingly weak US jobs report.
NEW YORK: US stocks on Friday recovered from losses to end mostly higher after a surprisingly weak US jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 7.71 points (0.05 per cent) to 16,437.05.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 4.24 (0.23 per cent) to 1,842.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 18.47 (0.44 per cent) at 4,174.66.
The monthly Labor Department report said the US economy added just 74,000 jobs in December, well below the 197,000 expected by analysts.
Equity markets spent much of the day in the red before recovering in afternoon trade.
The drop in US Treasury yields suggested the market thought the jobs report meant the US Federal Reserve will avoid aggressively scaling back its stimulus.
"People are thinking the Fed is going to stick around longer," said Brent Schutte, market strategist at BMO Private Bank.
Some analysts said the weak December jobs report could be an anomaly.
"You wouldn't want to see the same report next month," said Mace Blicksilver, director of Marblehead Asset Management. "It's one piece of data. It doesn't really square with the other data."
Dow component Chevron fell 1.9 per cent after a company report suggested fourth-quarter oil and gas production would be lower than expected.
Aluminium giant Alcoa sank 5.4 per cent after reporting a $2.3 billion loss on a large write-down. Excluding special items, fourth-quarter earnings came in at four cents per share, three cents shy of expectations.
Giant US retailer Target fell 1.1 per cent after disclosing that the data breach to its payment system affected up to 70 million more customers. The company also said its holiday sales were marred by the episode as it slashed its earnings forecast.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals recorded huge gains for a second day in a row, jumping 61.6 per cent. On Thursday, the stocks soared 281.1 per cent after announcing positive results from trials of its drug to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver failure.
Sears Holdings plummeted 13.8 per cent after reporting that comparable store sales fell 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal fourth-quarter quarter to date. The company forecast a loss of $1.3-1.4 billion for the year.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury sank to 2.86 per cent from 2.96 per cent Thursday, while the 30-year declined to 3.80 per cent from 3.87 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.