US stocks surged Friday after the government’s jobs report for December showed wage growth for American workers slowed.
The Labor Department said average hourly earnings gained 0.3% last month, less than the 0.4% consensus estimate from a Bloomberg survey of economists. Headline hiring of 223,000 was stronger than the 200,000 consensus estimate. The unemployment rate plunged to 3.5% from 3.6%.
While stocks advanced, the holiday-shortened week that kicked off trading in 2023 may still leave key equity gauges lower. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were looking at a fifth straight week of losses.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Friday:
- S&P 500: 3,834.60, up 0.70%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,212.01, up 0.86% (281.93 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 10,355.04, up 0.48%
“A lower unemployment rate and weaker average hourly earnings growth is certainly going to get equity market bulls’ attention,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, in a note.