U.S. stocks closed higher on February jobs report

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, as the S&P 500 reached a record high after a better than expected February jobs report and January’s figure was revised higher.

The U.S. private sector added 162,000 jobs last month, far above expectations for a 154,000 rise. January’s figure was revised up to 145,000 from 142,000.

Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut, said: “It seems that the decent February employment report, although a step in the right direction, has resolved little”.

Also today, data indicated that the U.S. trade deficit expanded to $39.1 billion in January, from $38.98 billion in December.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30.83 points or 0.19%, to close at 16,452.72. The S&P 500 added 1.01 points or 0.05%, to close at 1,878.04. But the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 15.903 points or 0.37%, to close at 4,336.223.

Among top Dow Jones Industrial Average performers were Nike, up 1.57%, Exxon Mobil, up 1.30%, and Goldman Sachs, up 0.93%.

Among the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst performers were Walt Disney, down 1.36%, Microsoft, down 0.72%, and Verizon down 0.68%.

At the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 1.50%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 1.15%, while Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 2.01%. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 dropped 1.12%.

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