Closing Update: Stocks Overcome Weak Job Report, Ending Mostly Higher; Dow Lags Field

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Stocks finished mixed on Friday, with blue-chips sinking after December jobs data trailed analyst forecasts but broader market gauges closed the session and the week with gains. Most industry sectors in the S&P 500 ended the day in the black, led by utility stocks. Shares of healthcare and consumer staple stocks also outperformed, reflecting investor caution today.

Non-farm payrolls increased by an anemic 74,000 in December, well below the consensus estimate expecting a 191,000 gain. November hiring was revised upward by 38,000 additional workers while the jobless rate fell to 6.7% - its lowest mark since October 2008.

Other data today included an as-expected 0.5% gain in November wholesale inventories.

Crude oil for February delivery settled $1.06 lower at $92.72 per barrel while February natural gas finished with a 5-cent gain at $4.05 per 1 million BTU. February gold rose $17.30 to $1,246.60 per ounce while March silver added 55 cents to $20.23 per share. March copper climbed 4 cents to $3.34 per pound.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average down 7.71 (-0.05%) to 16437.05

S&P 500 up 4.24 (0.23%) to 1842.37

Nasdaq Composite Index up 18.47 (+0.44%) to 4174.66

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.26%

Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.71%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.73%

UPSIDE MOVERS ^DJI,^IXIC,^GSPC,ICPT,IMMU,ANF,CHTP,PSUN,BV,SHLD

(+), ICPT Continues Thursday's rally triggered after its obeticholic adic study for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis was stopped early after an interim analysis showed it already met the primary endpoint.

(+) IMMU, Reported the first patient dosing in the company's Phase III registration study of its pancreatic cancer drug, yttrium-90 (90Y)-clivatuzumab tetraxetan.

(+), ANF (+9.8%) Boosts its guidance for full-year adjusted earnings based on better-than-expected sales and cost cuts.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CHTP, FDA briefing document on Northera cites "lack of sufficient evidence of efficacy".

(-) PSUN, Expects its Q4 non-GAAP loss per diluted share from continuing operations to be in the range of $0.21 - $0.18 versus estimates of a loss of $0.14 per share.

(-) BV, Federal judge in San Francisco ruled in favor of the government in its anti-trust lawsuit challenging the company's acquisition of rival PowerReviews.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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