NEW YORK (AFP) – The Dow and the S&P 500 climbed modestly to fresh record highs Friday after a blockbuster US labour report showed widespread jobs growth in November.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 58.69 points (0.33 per cent) at 17,958.79, topping its Wednesday mark by about 46 points.
The broad-market S&P 500 index added 3.32 (0.16 per cent) at 2,075.24, also a record, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.32 (0.24 per cent) to 4,780.76.
The Dow capped the first week of December closing just shy of the 18,000 mark after the Labor Department reported the economy added a much stronger-than-expected 321,000 jobs in November, the best jobs growth in nearly three years.
Upward revisions of the prior two months added a combined 44,000 jobs and brought the yearly average to 241,000 a month.
Despite the jobs data coming in far better than analysts expected, the stock market struggled to find direction before following financials higher, Briefing.com analysts said in a market note.
“The lack of broad strength following a solid jobs report was a reflection of concerns that the Fed may be inclined to hike the fed funds rate sooner than the market expected,” they said.
The jobs report came less than two weeks before the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy meeting.
The Fed has signalled it would raise its federal funds rate from near zero in mid-2015, depending on economic performance.