U.S. stocks mixed on jobs report, Ukraine unease; Dow rises 0.19%


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Investing.com - Concerns that the Ukraine crisis my heat up anew offset a better-than-expected February jobs report and sent stocks trading mixed to higher on Friday.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.19%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.37%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating expectations for a 149,000 increase.

January's figure was revised up to 129,000 from 113,000.

The U.S. private sector added 162,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations for a 154,000 rise. January's figure was revised up to 145,000 from 142,000.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% in February, from 6.6% the previous month. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged last month.

Meanwhile, data also showed that the U.S. trade deficit expanded to $39.1 billion in January, from $38.98 billion in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of $38.7 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to expand to $39.00 billion in January.

The bullish data sent stocks rising by fueling hopes that an improving economy will bolster corporate fundamentals down the road.

Offsetting gains, however, were concerns the Russian standoff in Ukraine may be heating up anew.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that he wouldn't ignore pleas for help from Russian speakers in Ukraine, which markets interpreted as rebuff to U.S. President Barack Obama's call to end the crisis.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Nike, up 1.57%, Exxon Mobil, up 1.30%, and Goldman Sachs, up 0.93%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Walt Disney, down 1.36%, Microsoft, down 0.72%, and Verizon down 0.68%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 1.50%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.15%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 2.01%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 1.12%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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