New York - Wall Street stocks moved mostly higher in early trade Friday, following a solid US jobs report for July and some strong earnings.
About 40 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3.46 points (0.02 percent) to 16,559.84.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 3.70 (0.19 percent) to 1,934.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index put on 3.28 (0.08
percent) to 4,373.05.
In the much-anticipated monthly jobs report, the Labor Department said the US economy generated 209,000 new jobs in July, down from June but maintaining the solid 200,000-plus monthly streak since February.
Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the data was not “undeniably strong,” and would reduce expectations that the US Federal Reserve will hasten its plan to raise benchmark interest rates.
The jobs report “arguably hit the sweet spot for tempering the rate hike concerns,” O'Hare said.
On Thursday, US stocks tumbled about two percent on a range of worries, including weak corporate earnings, the Argentine debt default and poor eurozone data.
Stocks opened lower again Friday, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved into positive territory shortly thereafter.
Dow component Procter & Gamble gained 3.3 percent as earnings of 95 cents per share for the quarter ending June 30 bested expectations by four cents.
The company also announced plans to eliminate some 90-100 underperforming brands.
Fellow Dow component Chevron dipped 0.6 percent, despite reporting second-quarter earnings of $2.98 per share, 32 cents better than analyst expectations.
Scientific Games, a big player in lottery systems and other gaming businesses, shot up 14.4 percent after announcing it would acquire Bally Technologies in a deal valued at $5.1 billion (R54 billion).
The company said the deal will enhance its research and development efforts and provide better exposure to Australia and Asia.
LinkedIn bolted 11.1 percent higher after forecasting revenues in the upcoming quarter of $543-$547 million, above the $540.9 million projected by analysts.
Bond prices were mixed.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.54 percent from 2.56 percent Thursday, while the 30-year rose to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent. Bond prices and yields mover inversely. - Sapa-AFP