U.S. stocks wavered in early trade on Friday after a government report showed that U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast in December, but the unemployment rate declined to 9.4 percent.
The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.18 points, or 0.01 percent, to trade at 1,274.03 at 9:50 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 5.87 points, or 0.05 percent, to trade at 11,703.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.11 percent.
Expectations had gotten high after the ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday stated that the private sector added about 297,000 jobs in December. But nonfarm payrolls rose by 103,000 jobs in December up from the revised gain of 71,000 for the previous month and against analysts’ estimation of 150,000 gain.
Meanwhile, Unemployment rate in declined to 9.4 percent in December versus 9.8 percent recorded in the previous month and against analysts’ estimation of 9.7 percent unemployment rate.
On the corporate front, shares of KB Home advanced 4.68 percent after surprising Wall Street with a profit for the fiscal fourth quarter, despite delivering fewer homes. Its net income declined to $17.4 million, or $0.23 per share from $100.7 million or $1.31 per share in the same period a year ago, while analysts expected a loss of $0.19 per share.
On Thursday, US stocks finished mixed in queasy trading ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payroll report from the government. Investors also pondered a rise in initial jobless claims and some weaker-than-expected December sales from some major retailers.
The euro declined 0.23 percent to 1.2972 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.09 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures advanced 0.69 percent to $88.99/barrel and gold futures fell 0.36 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE100 down by 14.35 points, DAX30 up by 13.34 points and CAC 40 down by 9.92 points.