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US stocks open higher despite downbeat jobs report

US stocks open higher despite downbeat jobs report

New York: US stocks opened higher on Friday despite a negative report of the country’s non-farm payrolls.

US total non-farm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December, missing market expectations of 190,000, the Labor Department reported Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 per cent, Xinhua reported.

In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls rose by nine cents to $26.63. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 65 cents, or 2.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce announced on Friday that the goods and services deficit was $50.5 billion in November, up $1.6 billion from October.

Analysts said that the recent solid gains in US equities have been buoyed by the prospect of a US corporate tax-cut package, rising commodity prices and robust corporate earnings.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.38 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 25,145.51. The S&P 500 added 9.59 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 2,733.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 27.36 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7,105.28.

All three major indices closed at record highs on Thursday, with the Dow shooting above 25,000 points for the first time, as investors cheered over strong US private-sector hiring data.

IANS