Stocks Surge After Mixed December Jobs Report, But Weekly Losses Continue

Stock Market Wall Street
Stock Market Wall Street

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.