Stocks continue higher as investors look past nonfarm payrolls report.
The U.S. stock market resumed its uptrend on Friday, as China trade optimism offset disappointing nonfarm payrolls data for the month of August.
Two of three Wall Street indices finished in positive territory, but settled well off their session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) rallied 69.31 points, or 0.3%, to close at 26,797.46. The blue-chip index was up triple digits earlier in the day.
The broad S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) advanced 0.1% to finish at 2,78.72. Seven of 11 primary sectors reported gains, with materials leading the pack.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) edged down 0.2% to 8,103.07.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) continued to decline on Friday, a sign of renewed calm on Wall Street. The so-called “fear index” settled down 7.6% at 15.03 on a scale of 1-100 where 20-25 represents the historic average.
In economic data, the U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, much less than the 158,000 expected, the Department of Labor reported Friday from Washington. The July hiring clip was revised down to 159,000 from 164,000 previously.
The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, as expected. Labor force participation inched up to 63.2% from 63% in July.
Average hourly earnings, which are a proxy for wage inflation, rose 0.4% in August and 3.2% annually. Both figures were higher than expected.
The Final Word: Investors are hopeful that the United States and China will make progress on trade at their upcoming meeting in October. Negotiations have been at a virtual standstill since May when China reportedly backed out of an agreement.