Stocks finished firmly higher on Friday, with all three major averages gaining more than 3.2%. The Dow rallied 746 points to 23,433 while the S&P 500 climbed 84 points to 2,531. The Nasdaq Composite surged 275 points to 6,738.
The U.S equity market soared as investors assessed economic and monetary policy updates. On the data front, non-farm payrolls jumped by 312,000 beating projections by the largest margin since 2009. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2% year-over-year in December, which is tied with this past October’s reading as the highest since April 2009. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose from a five decade low of 3.7% to 3.9%. In central bank news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the central bank will be “patient” with future rate increases and will monitor economic performance before making decisions.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended higher. The Technology and Communication Services groups led gains with the oft-cited “FAANG” group jumping 5.5%. Industrials and Materials also outperformed with both adding 3.9% as investors cheered reports the U.S. and China will reengage in trade discussions early next week.
Breadth was positive on issues by 19:1 on the NYSE and by 8:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 4.2 billion shares.
Treasuries weakened along the curve with the yield on the 10-year note up ten basis points to 2.66%. In commodities, WTI crude added 2.4% to $48.24/barrel. COMEX gold lost 0.7% to $1286.00/ounce despite a weaker dollar.
For the week, the Dow added 1.6% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced 1.9% and 2.3%, respectively.