The Dow Jones index gained more than 100 points after the jobs report showed lighter-than-expected wage gains

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, November 10, 2022.

Brendan McDiarmid | Reuters

US stocks rose on Friday after the December jobs report showed that hiring was slightly stronger and wage gains were smaller than expected, showing some signs of progress amid the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to tame inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 102 points, or 0.31%, but it was far from today’s high. The S&P 500 rose 0.15%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.26%, weighed down by Tesla that decreased more than 5% after the company lowered prices on some vehicles in China.

The December non-farm payrolls report showed that The US economy added 223,000 jobs Last month, just above the 200,000 jobs forecast by economists in a Dow Jones poll. In addition, wages grew more slowly than expected, rising 0.3% in the month where economists expected 0.4%.

“All investors care about is that the data indicates that inflation is heading toward the Fed’s target,” said Michael Aron, chief investment analyst at State Street Global Advisors. “That’s all investors care about, and average hourly earnings suggest inflation continues to slow. They’re excited about that.”

It is the latest data that shows how the US economy can withstand the central bank’s hike in interest rates to bring down soaring inflation.

On Thursday, the Dow fell more than 300 points after a stronger-than-expected private payrolls report sparked concern that the Federal Reserve would be forced to continue raising interest rates and keeping them high, fueling fears of a recession in the United States.

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With Friday’s gains, stocks may head into positive territory for the week. The Dow Jones is currently up 0.06% in the first week of the year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are still on track for their fifth weekly losses, down 0.32% and 1.41%, respectively.

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