U.S. stocks advanced in early trade on Friday following better-than-expected monthly non-farm payrolls and unemployment data.
The S&P 500 Index advanced 6.92 points, or 0.52 percent, to trade at 1,332.75 at 9:45 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 42.42 points, or 0.34 percent, to trade at 12,362.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10.10 percent.
The number of people employed in the non-farming businesses in the US rose more than expected in March, showing that economic recovery in the nation is on track. US nonfarm payrolls increased by 216,000 in March month-on-month, while markets had expected the nonfarm payrolls would increase rise by 188,000 in the month.
Also, the private sector employment rose by 230,000 against the analysts' expectations of 203,000 job additions in March. Besides, the unemployment rate reduced slightly to 8.8 percent in March from 8.9 percent in the previous month, indicating improved labor market conditions in the nation.
On the corporate front, NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) shares climbed 11.29 percent after NASDAQ OMX Group and IntercontinentalExchange said they have made a joint proposal to acquire NYX for about $11.3 billion.
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Thursday as investors waited for Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, while slightly weaker-than-expected economic reports on jobless claims and Chicago Purchasing Managers index weighed on the sentiment.
Oil prices eased from $107 to trade at 106.64 on Friday amid concerns that escalating fighting between the rebels and Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya would lead to disruption of oil exports from the OPEC nation for longer than expected.
The euro fell 0.23 percent to 1.4084 against the dollar and the greenback gained 1.62 percent against the Japanese yen.
European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE100 up by 75.31 points, DAX30 up by 106.67 points and CAC 40 up by 45.93 points.