NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks opened higher on Friday, after the U.S. added 223,000 jobs to payrolls in April, in line with expectations. The national unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in April from 5.5% last month.
The S&P 500 was up 0.99%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was climbing 1.2%, and the Nasdaq added 1%.
Economists were expecting 225,000 jobs to be added in April, far better than 126,000 added in March.
Jobs increased in professional and business services, health care and construction, while jobs in mining continued to decline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages ticked slightly higher. Average hourly earnings for private sector employees rose 3 cents, or 0.1%, from March to $24.87. Average hourly earnings rose 2.2% over the past 12 months, according to the data.
Stocks on Thursday closed higher as investors awaited the jobs report. A strong nonfarm payrolls report might prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than later. Speculation has continued over whether the Fed would raise rates in June or push it back to September or later.
Crude oil had topped a five-month high of $62 a barrel earlier in the week after U.S. inventories unexpectedly fell. Brent crude oil was up 0.55% higher to $65.90 a barrel on Friday, while West Texas Intermediate was up 1.02% to $59.54 a barrel.
European and Asian markets were all higher on Friday. The FTSE 100 was up 2.13%; Germany's DAX was up 1.34% while China's Shanghai Composite closed up 2.28%.
Elsewhere, in corporate news: