Stocks Improve After Jobs, Services-Sector Reports
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. stock averages ticked higher Friday after upbeat December jobs and services-sector growth reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 44 points, or 0.3%, at 13,435. The blue-chip index posted its biggest weekly point gain since December 2011. The index finished up 1.9% for the week.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares spiked 1.2% after being upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Deutsche Bank, which spoke of upside potential attributable to new drugs and product diversification.
The S&P 500 added 7 points, or 0.5%, to 1,466 to post its highest close since 2007. The index finished up 2.5% for the week. The Nasdaq ended up 1 point to 3,102 as Apple(AAPL) shares slid 2.8% after The New York Times reported that congressional investigators are coming close to concluding an inquiry into the accounting practices of the tech giant and other technology companies that allocate revenue and intellectual property offshore to lower the taxes they pay in the U.S. The tech-heavy index added 2.7% for the week.
In the broad market, only the technology sector slipped, down 0.6%. The biggest percentage sector gainers were transportation, energy and financials.
Volumes rose to 3.41 billion shares on the Big Board and 1.74 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Advancers were outpacing decliners by a ratio of 3.3-to-1 on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.8-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by 155,000 in December, down from an upwardly revised 161,000 in November. Economists, on average, were expecting nonfarm payrolls to increase by 150,000 in December.
Private nonfarm payrolls increased by 168,000 in December, down from an upwardly revised 171,000. An increase of 148,000 was estimated for December.
The jobless rate stayed at 7.8% after the prior month's figure was upwardly revised from 7.7% as the civilian labor force participation rate held steady at 63.6%. The unemployment rate was expected to come in at 7.7%.