The U.S. stock market grinded higher for most of Friday’s trading session,
sending the major averages out in positive territory. The stock market has jumped to begin 2013 as investors have been purchasing risk assets in the wake of the deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed around 44 points to close at 13,485.
The S&P 500 was up by around 7 points, or 0.49 percent, and finished the session at 1,466.
The Nasdaq was the laggard on the day and only gained 0.04 percent to just below 3,102.
The December jobs numbers came in better than expected which helped trigger risk appetite on Wall Street. The Nonfarm payrolls number was 155,000 versus a consensus estimate of 150,000. The November period was also revised up to 161,000 from 146,000.
Private payrolls also came in better than expected, notching a gain of 168,000 versus consensus expectations of 165,000. The November private payroll data was revised to 171,000 from 147,000.
The unemployment rate did not show the drop that economists had been expecting, coming in at 7.8 percent versus estimates of 7.7 percent.
Hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent, one basis point above expectations. The average work week was 34.5 hours compared to 34.4 in November.
The November factory orders data was flat compared to economists expectations of a rise of 0.5 percent. In the prior month period, factory orders showed a gain of 0.8 percent.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index was strong in December, rising to 56.1 from 54.7 in November. This compared to consensus estimates which called for a dip to 53.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
This market generally does not give this reading a lot of attention because the services index is less cyclical than the manufacturing sector.
The Australian dollar was particularly strong against the greenback, rising than 1 percent on the session while the U.S. dollar was strong against the yen with the USD/JPY climbing than 0.60 percent.
The other currency pair that was active on Friday was the USD/CAD which fell 0.67 percent to $0.9858.
U.S. crude oil was slightly higher on the session. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, added roughly 0.14 percent to $93.05 while Brent crude contracts fell 0.71 percent to $111.34. Natural gas contracts snapped a losing streak and gained around 2.60 percent to $3.28.
Both gold and silver were lower on the day. COMEX gold futures notched losses of than 1 percent to $1,657.50. Silver futures shed around 1.60 percent and were last trading at $30.23.
Losses also hit the agricultural complex with most of the grains falling than 1 percent. Corn lost over 1.30 percent and wheat was down 1.09 percent.