New York, Feb 5 (DPA) US stocks closed higher Friday as investors digested a mixed unemployment report and watched ongoing protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The US unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to nine percent in January, its lowest rate since April 2009, but employers added only 36,000 jobs during the month as snow storms hit much of the country, according to figures from the Labour Department.
Analysts had expected a jobless rate of 9.5 percent, but predicted employers would add 145,000 jobs during the month.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 29.89 points, or 0.25 percent, to 12,092.15. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index added 3.77 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,310.87. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 15.42 points, or 0.56 percent, to 2,769.3.
For the week, the Dow was up 2.27 percent, the S&P 500 rose 2.71 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 3.07 percent. Much of the weekly gain was the result of better-than-expected US corporate profits that overshadowed the uncertainty over Egypt’s massive protests.
The US currency was higher against the euro at 73.61 euro cents from 73.35 euro cents Thursday. The dollar climbed against the Japanese currency to 82.18 yen from 81.68 yen.