US stocks advanced on Friday, buoyed by a solid payrolls report for November that locked in expectations for an interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve next week and raised optimism about economic prospects in 2018.
Technology stocks such as Microsoft, Apple and Oracle helped pace the advance, as they continued to rebound from a selloff in the sector earlier in the week.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 228,000 jobs last month amid broad gains in hiring as the distortions from the recent hurricanes faded, Labor Department data showed, topping expectations calling for a rise by 200,000 jobs.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 per cent in November after dipping 0.1 per cent the prior month, but fell shy of the estimated 0.3 per cent rise.
“It’s hard to find much fault with it. I guess if you are looking to find fault it would be that the wage growth isn’t as fast as we would like it to be and came up a little bit short,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
“It’s a great report overall.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 117.68 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 24,329.16, the S&P 500 gained 14.52 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 2,651.5 and the Nasdaq Composite added 27.24 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,840.08.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.4 per cent, the S&P advanced 0.35 per cent and the Nasdaq fell 0.11 per cent.
The jobs data cemented expectations the Fed will raise rates at its meeting next week as traders now see a 96.2-per cent chance of a quarter-point hike, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“The focus is moving to what the Fed is going to do next week, what the composition of the board is going to look like,” said Rob Stein, CEO of Astor Investment Management in Chicago.
US President Donald Trump signed legislation to fund the federal government for two more weeks, averting a government shutdown while Congress negotiated a longer-term budget deal, temporarily removing a potential headwind for stocks.