Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.(Photo: Stephen Chernin, AFP/Getty)
LONDON -- U.S. stocks were trading mixed Friday after the U.S.
Department of Labor said the unemployment rate was unchanged in December
at 7.8% and 155,000 nonfarm jobs were created -- on target with
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down
just a few points after opening slightly higher. The Standard &
Poor's 500 index was trading up 0.2%, and was just shy of breaking
through the bull market high intraday. The Nasdaq composite index was
0.2% lower in late morning trading.
The yield on the 10-year
Treasury bond rose to 1.94% from 1.9% Thursday and 1.7% last Friday.
Gold prices fell $28, or 1.7%, to $1,646.60, suggesting that gold bugs
don't see much of a threat of inflation in the latest employment report.
euro was trading flat against the dollar at 1.3041 while the dollar
gained 0.5% against the yen at 87.96. The price of oil continued to
fall, down 0.2% to $92.74 a barrel.
Wall Street stocks reacted
poorly Thursday to minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal
Reserve that showed opinion was divided over how long the central bank
should keep in place its program of economy-supporting bond purchases.
The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all ended Thursday's session
On Friday, market attention turned to the government's December jobs report.
had forecast -- right on the money -- that employers added 155,000 jobs
in December, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be slightly
higher than November's 146,000, revised downward by 2,000 in today's
report. The unemployment rate wa projected to remain at 7.7%.
December employment data added some context to jobs reports released
Thursday from private research firms that showed private-sector
employers added a better-than-forecast 215,000 jobs in December,
although weekly applications for unemployment benefits moved higher, to
Japan, the nation's benchmark Nikkei 225 leaped nearly 3% as the stock
index, closed over the recent holiday period, was given its first
opportunity to react to the news of a deal over the so-called "fiscal
cliff" in Washington. A weakening yen was also a factor helping to push
Japanese stocks higher. Major markets in the rest of the Asia-Pacific
In Europe, stocks were tilting lower before the U.S. market open.