NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were trading higher Friday following a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report and as crude oil rallied.
The S&P 500 added 0.35% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.23%. The Nasdaq rose 0.41%.
The U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, the 12th straight month of jobs gains greater than 200,000. Economists had expected the Bureau of Labor Statistics to report an increase of 230,000 jobs over the month. Average hourly wages increased 0.5%, their biggest monthly gain since November 2008, and above estimates of a 0.3% increase. Average hourly wages had shown worrying signs of stagnating after an unexpected 0.2% drop in December.
"One must grade this a 10 and dovetails neatly into our presumption that the Fed drops 'patient' at the March meeting as key metrics continue to trend their way," said TD Securities' Eric Green. "The issue is to what extent these global headwinds ultimately redraw the cost/benefit calculus to move rates higher in nine months, a view based on a current assessment of how conditions are likely to evolve."
The unemployment rate nudged 100 basis points higher to 5.7%, one of the few negative points in a blowout report. But even this could be spun into a positive, said EverBank's Chris Gaffney.
"More of the unemployed are coming back into the labor market. They're seeing some possibilities so I think that tick-up in the unemployment rate is actually another positive," he said in a call.
Financials were spiking on the possibility of a rate hike from the Federal Reserve sooner rather than later. Bank of America (BAC) , Wells Fargo (WFC) , Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan (JPM) were all higher, while the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) surged 1.7%.
Crude oil was extending gains on Friday with West Texas Intermediate up 2.6% to $51.80 a barrel. Prices had rallied on Thursday after the European Union increased forecasts for growth to 1.7% this year from a previous estimate of 1.5%. Oil has been floundering in the face of global oversupply and weakening demand in key regions including China and the eurozone.
European markets were trading lower after Thursday's meeting between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble showed no signs of progress toward a debt deal. Greece's fiscal future has looked unstable since anti-austerity party Syriza was elected last week, triggering fears the new government could compromise the country's bailout package with the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.
France's CAC 40 dropped 0.1%, Germany's DAX was down 0.39%, and London's FTSE 100 fell 0.11%. Athens Stock Exchange was down 2%.
Earnings came in mixed for tech companies. GoPro (GPRO) tumbled 10.8% after worrying investors with weaker-than-expected guidance. The action camera maker said it expects first-quarter guidance no higher than 17 cents a share. Analysts' consensus at the midpoint was 17 cents a share. The company said gross margins would likely drop to 44% from 48%.
LinkedIn (LNKD) soared more than 14% after beating quarterly earnings estimates and reporting a 44% jump in sales. On the beat, Credit Suisse, Evercore and Bank of America each lifted their price targets.
Twitter (TWTR) jumped 15.3% after reporting ad revenue up nearly 100% to $432 million, on top of a 109% surge in the previous quarter. Total revenue climbed 97%, while earnings of 12 cents a share were more than double analysts' estimates.
Pandora (P) plummeted nearly 20% after missing sales and earnings estimates in its fourth quarter and guiding for below-consensus sales in its current quarter. Despite this, total listener hours were up 15% in the quarter, while active listeners jumped 7% to 81.5 million.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.