U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday after a mixed jobs report and despite lingering worries over the fiscal health of some European countries.
U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 20,000 jobs in January, but the unemployment rate dropped to a five-month low of 9.7 percent, according to a government report that hinted at labor market improvement.
The (jobs) data was mixed. It was not uniformly good nor uniformly bad, and I think the logical reaction is a market that probably doesn't know which way to go, said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
Industrial shares were among the biggest lowers, with Boeing Co
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 12.32 points, or 0.12 percent, to 9,989.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 0.25 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,062.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 6.39 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,131.82.
The euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar since May, as the cost of insuring Greek, Portuguese and Spanish government debt rose to record highs on worries those countries might default on their debt.
After a major decline yesterday, the market is pointing to further correction, and this is going to continue to feed on itself until we are through with the euro zone storm, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
(Additional reporting by Angela Moon and Ellis Mnyandu; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)