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Stocks Close Higher Despite Job Losses

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks overcame early losses to close higher Friday, as rallying technology and industrial stocks outweighed a much larger-than-expected number of job losses in December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 11 points, or 0.1%, at 10,618. The S&P 500 climbed 3 points, or 0.3%, at 1145, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 17 points, or 0.7%, at 2317.

The major market averages finished the first trading week of the new year on an up note, with the Dow going higher by 1.8%, the S&P rising 2.7% and the Nasdaq moving up by 2.1%.

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Tech bellwethers Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Cisco (CSCO) charted an upward course for the Dow, rising 0.7%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.

After outpacing other sectors on Thursday, financial stocks retreated Friday after a Citi analyst cut his views on Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report). Shares traded lower by 1.9%, 0.3%, 2% and 0.9%, respectively.

Alcoa (AA) led percentage advancers on the Dow, rising 2.5% Friday. As the first of the blue-chip average components to report quarterly results, the aluminum-producer will kick off earnings season Monday, with average estimates from Reuters calling for earnings of 6 cents a share on $4.8 billion in revenue.

Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) was the Dow's biggest laggard, with shares down 1.9% after JPMorgan downgraded the company to neutral from overweight.

Stocks spent much of their day just below the flatline after the Labor Department said the unemployment rate held at 10% in December and nonfarm payrolls dropped 85,000, for a total decrease of 4.2 million jobs in 2009. The government also upwardly revised November's figure to an increase of 4,000 payrolls from an initially reported decline of 11,000.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AKS $5.25 7.40%
APOL $17.26 0.03%
BAC $15.58 0.13%
KO $40.70 -0.33%
UPS $101.49 4.20%

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DOW 18,003.61 -34.36 -0.19%
S&P 500 2,100.81 -8.11 -0.38%
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