By Aaron Kuriloff and Georgi Kantchev
The Dow Jones Industrial Average came within one point of 20000 -- a milestone it has never reached -- after a solid jobs report Friday.
The blue-chip index was recently up 94 points, or 0.5%, to 19994 after climbing as high as 19999.63. The S&P 500 gained 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8%.
The dollar strengthened and government bond prices fell. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, rose 1%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rises as prices fall, rose to 2.414%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.370% Thursday.
Expectationsof a higher-growth, higher-rate environment under President-elect Donald Trump have fueled a broad stock rally and helped push the dollar to its highest level in 14 years, while also sending government bond yields higher since the November election.
Friday's jobs report was largely in line with those expectations. The U.S. added a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in December from the prior month, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 183,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7% from 4.6% in November, matching economists' projections.
Wages posted the biggest annual gain in more than seven years, rising 2.9% in December, though gains remained weak by historical standards. While a sign of economic growth, rising pay could eventually pressure corporate profits, some analysts said.
"This report was a little weaker than the average jobs growth in 2016, but not so much to suggest an overall weakening in the jobs situation," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "It gives investors one more indicator suggesting the economy continues to grow, and that's good news for stocks."
Gold fell 0.7%, to $1,173.20 an ounce, and U.S. crude oil rose 0.5%, to $54.05 a barrel.
Earlier, the Stoxx Europe 600 declined less than 0.1%, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2%.
Investors were also watching China's yuan, which surged in recent days after a prolonged selloff. Beijing has been fighting to control the currency's recent descent and on Friday guided the yuan 0.9% stronger against the dollar, its biggest increase since 2005.
The yuan slipped in offshore markets, underscoring the difficulty of the task for Chinese authorities, as many investors still expect the yuan to decline in the long run.
Write to Aaron Kuriloff at firstname.lastname@example.org and Georgi Kantchev at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 06, 2017 13:09 ET (18:09 GMT)
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