NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a small gain in the final minutes to closing bell, though it was enough to cement the index's third consecutive record close and weekly gain of more than 1%. U.S. stocks were mixed for much of Friday's trading session, with the Nasdaq negative and the S&P 500 and Dow flitting between minor gains and losses as investors digested the October jobs report.
The U.S. Government said 214,000 jobs were added to the economy in October, less than an expected 231,000, while the unemployment rate inched lower to 5.8% from 5.9% a month earlier. The labor participation rate edged slightly higher to 62.8% from 62.7%.
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Stocks rallied to record closing highs on Thursday on hopes the October jobs report would be a repeat performance of the prior month when data showed a revised 256,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate dropping to a six-year low of 5.9%.
U.S. Bank Wealth Management's senior fixed income strategist Dan Heckman said the markets had taken the slight disappointment in stride. "Equity investors are taking some profits," he said in a phone call. "There are aspects of the report that were good. There were aspects that were not troubling, but not as rosy as one would hope."
Though the headline number missed estimates, the case for an improving job market remains intact. October marks the ninth consecutive month where the U.S. economy has added at least 200,000 workers. An average 229,000 jobs have been added every month this year, the fastest rate in 15 years.