Wall Street higher despite weak December hiring data

The S&P 500 was up 4.85 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 2,728.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.43 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 7,101.34. — Reuters pic The S&P 500 was up 4.85 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 2,728.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.43 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 7,101.34. — Reuters pic NEW YORK, Jan 5 — ’s main indexes rose today as investors looked beyond weaker-than-expected US job additions in December and took support from signs of a pick-up in wage growth.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 jobs last month, the Labour Department said, while economists had forecast a rise of 190,000.

Stock futures pared gains briefly after the report, which was also in sharp contrast to yesterday’s data that showed private employers added a stronger-than-expected 250,000 jobs in December.

Monthly wage gains was a bright spot that pointed to labor market strength and could strengthen the chances of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates in March.



The odds of a March rate hike stood at 67.5 per cent, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool, nearly unchanged from before the release of the report.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 per cent in December after gaining 0.1 per cent in the prior month. That lifted the annual increase in wages to 2.5 per cent from 2.4 per cent in November.

“It’s a really weak number, surprising given how strong ADP was on Wednesday. However, it’s only one month. People usually look at the three-month average as it’s usually a better gauge,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Independent Advisor Alliance in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“The market will probably overlook this for now. I would look next month for confirmation if it’s a trend.”

At 9:40am ET (1540 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 46.05 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 25,121.18. The blue-chip index closed above 25,000 for the first time yesterday, its quickest 5,000-point climb since the index was created in 1896.

The S&P 500 was up 4.85 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 2,728.84 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 23.43 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 7,101.34.

Among the 11 major S&P sectors, energy was the biggest decliner, down 0.37 per cent as oil prices pulled away from their 2015 highs on soaring US production.

Chevron and Exxon fell 0.4 per cent, weighing on the sector.



The S&P technology index rose 0.55 per cent, leading the gainers.

Microsoft’s 1 per cent rise and ’s 0.6 per cent gain boosted the sector.

Cisco rose 1.33 per cent after BofA Merrill Lynch brokers upgraded the stock to “buy”.

Francesca’s Holdings tanked 16.5 per cent after the women’s apparel and accessories maker said it expected up to 17 per cent decline in current-quarter same-store sales.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,577 to 982. On the Nasdaq, 1,486 issues rose and 909 fell. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online






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