Wall Street was looking at yet another bullish session Friday, Dec. 8, after the Labor Department said the U.S. added 228,000 jobs to payrolls in November, higher than expected, and the unemployment rate remained steady last month at 4.1%.
The Nasdaq was leading the major averages higher for the third straight session, climbing 0.6%. The S&P 500 gained 0.53% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38%. Technology shares showed strength while consumer staples and utilities lagged.
Stocks have turned positive for the week after spending the earlier part mostly in the red.
Treasuries were mixed and the dollar rose after the U.S. added more jobs in November than analysts were expecting.
U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs last month, higher than FactSet estimates of 190,000, as post-hurricane hiring accelerated and retailers prepared for a record holiday shopping season.
Average hourly wages gained 0.2% month to month to $26.55. Economists expected an increase of 0.3% in November from October. The figures could have a big impact on interest rate projections for 2018 from the Fed, which holds its final policy meeting of the year next week in Washington, DC.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in December, according to a report from the University of Michigan. A preliminary reading of the sentiment index for December fell to 96.8 from November's final reading of 98.5. Economists were expecting the index to inch up to 99.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) rose 8.5% Friday amid reports that activist investor Elliott Management was pressing for major changes on the company's board if it doesn't outline plans to boost growth.
Gun maker American Outdoor Brands Corp. (AOBC) was down more than 12% Friday after the company slashed guidance following its earnings release Thursday. For the year, the company expects to see revenue between $650 million and $675 million, down from its previous estimate between $700 million and $740 million.
"Lower shipments in our firearms business reflected a significant reduction in wholesaler and retailer orders versus the prior year," CEO James Debney said.
Sigma Designs Inc. (SIGM) was one of the market's biggest movers, climbing more than 23% Friday after Silicon Labs announced that it acquired the company for $282 million, or $7.05 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a 26% premium over the stock's closing price on Wednesday.
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