Stocks overcame a slow start to the day to finish moderately higher, as investors overcame a conflicting January jobs data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose 0.25 percent and 0.29 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq, powered by the acquisition of Silverleaf Resorts (Nasdaq: SVLF) by Cerberus Capital, finished up by 0.56 percent.
For the week, the Dow rose 0.25 percent, while the S&P and the Nasdaq rose by 0.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
The jobs report from the U.S. Labor Dept. stated that unemployment rate in the U.S. had dropped to 9 percent in January, but that non-farm payrolls rose by only 36,000 jobs. Economists forecasted that the number of payroll jobs would rise by 140,000.
Oil continued its slide and fell 1.69 percent in the midst of ongoing political unrest in Egypt and the prospect of disruption in oil supply flows. Gold fell 0.26 percent.
The 10-year bond yield moved up 0.11 percent.
Today’s big winner was Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET), which rose 12.47 percent after the health insurance giant it announced this morning that its fourth-quarter earnings handily beat analysts estimates.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) fell 1.91 percent after it was named in a lawsuit yesterday by a trustee for allegedly knowing about Bernie Madoff’s now infamous Ponzi scheme, yet sought to make money off of financial products tied to him.
Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) rose 1.46 percent amidst investors’ worries over rising food costs.
Next week investors will wait for earnings announcements from Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS), whose 2010 revenue estimate is $1.31 billion, and Lorillard Inc. (NYSE: LO).