Trading Room home page

US stocks gain after mixed jobs data

Market watch top headlines

Australian reports

World reports

Stocks to watch

AGK, APN, CCL, FMG, SEK, TRS, SXL, WEB, WES, WPL,

NEW YORK, Feb 1 AFP

February 02 2013, 02:17AM

US stocks have added solid gains in early trade after a mixed jobs report showed lower-than expected job generation in January, but revisions pushed last year's numbers sharply higher.

Thirty minutes into trade on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 102.83 points (0.74 per cent) at 13,963.41.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 9.15 points (0.61 per cent) at 1,507.26, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 17.35 (0.55 per cent) at 3,159.48.

The markets took in stride the January jobs numbers: unemployment ticked up a notch to 7.9 per cent and only 157,000 jobs were generated, fewer than expected.

But revised data for all of 2012 gave a much better picture, with monthly net job generation at 181,000 instead of the earlier figure of only 153,000.

"A slight miss on payrolls in January was more than offset by upward revisions to the previous couple of months," said Jim O'Sullivan at High Frequency Economics.

ExxonMobil shares fell 0.2 per cent after it reported a six per cent gain in net income for the fourth quarter, but said oil and gas production had dropped five per cent from a year earlier.

Chevron added 0.6 per cent after it beat analysts' forecasts in its earnings.

But Merck shares sank 3.4 per cent after it turned in a 7.3 per cent fall in fourth-quarter profit and it forecast a slight fall in profits for this year.

Anheuser-Busch InBev rebounded 1.9 per cent after a sharp fall on Thursday following the Justice Department's move to block its takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.

In tech shares, sagging computer maker Dell powered up 3.5 per cent amid talk that its plan to take itself private could be announced next week.

Netflix meanwhile added 3.3 per cent.

Bond prices surged. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.94 per cent from 1.99 per cent late on Thursday, while the 30-year fell to 3.14 per cent from 3.17 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.