NEW YORK — Stocks are inching upward Friday morning as investors were encouraged by continuing job growth in the U.S. The market is coming off its worst day in more than three months.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,551 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow lost 392 points the day before. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,948. The Nasdaq composite rose 27 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,716.
JOBS REPORT: The Labor Department said the U.S. employers added 292,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 5 percent. Analysts had anticipated a smaller increase of 200,000 jobs. On average employers added 284,000 jobs per month in the fourth quarter, the best rate in a year.
GAINS SPREAD OUT: Stocks didn’t make large gains, but the buying was widespread. Technology company and retailers made the largest advances. Facebook rose $2.08, or 2.1 percent, to $100 and Apple, which is trading at its lowest prices in more than a year, picked up $1.81, or 1.9 percent, to $98.26. E-commerce giant Amazon rose $10.90, or 1.8 percent, to $618.14.
OIL STILL FALLING: Oil prices continued to slide. U.S. crude dipped 11 cents to $33.16 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, lost 20 cents to $33.55 a barrel in London.
Energy stocks continued to decline, as drilling services company Transocean lost 26 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $10.74 and Marathon Oil fell 25 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $10.42.
LOUSY WEEK: Despite Friday’s gains, the market is on pace for its worst week since August. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen 4.8 percent this week and the Nasdaq is in a six-day skid.
ASIA’S DAY: China’s stock market also rose to end a tumultuous week. The benchmark index in Shanghai gained 2 percent after a 7-percent plunge on Thursday that led to an early halt in trading.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 percent.
Worries about China have been fueled by a decline in the value of the yuan and disappointing economic data. In the last few days that has drowned out signs that the United States and Europe are doing fairly well.
EUROPE: Stocks in Europe were mixed. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.3 percent while Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent to 10,091. The CAC-40 in France slid 0.4 percent.
GAP WOES: Retailer Gap said its sales slumped in December. The totals were worse than analysts expected. The sluggishness included its Old Navy brand, which had been a bright spot for Gap. The stock dropped $2.70, or 10.1 percent, to $24.04. Gap had risen 5.7 percent Thursday.
CONTAINER STORE STUMBLE: The Container Store reported a surprise third-quarter loss and disappointing sales, and its stock plunged $2.72, or 37.9 percent, to $4.46. The company went public in November 2013 with an IPO that priced at $18 per share and it finished its first trading day at $36.20.
CURRENCIES, BONDS: The Euro fell to $1.0879 from $1.0927 and the dollar rose to 118.17 yen from 117.50 yen late Thursday. Bond prices slipped at the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.16 percent.
Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay.
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