By Aaron Kuriloff and Georgi Kantchev
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to within one point of 20000, as a solid jobs report added the latest fuel to stocks' postelection rally.
The index repeatedly approached the mark Friday, rising as high as 19999.63 before paring gains. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were on pace for fresh records after the Labor Department said December job growth slowed from the previous month, but wages posted their biggest annual gain in more than seven years.
The report largely matched investors' expectations, supporting recent optimism about the U.S. economy. Hopes for a higher-growth, higher-rate environment under President-elect Donald Trump have powered 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.
Several investors said markets often approach milestones tentatively.
"Whether it's an index number or a big round number for an individual stock, stocks sort of tiptoe up to it, then pull back, then make another run," said Jim Tierney, chief investment officer of concentrated U.S. growth at AllianceBernstein Holding LP. "I'll be happy to get it behind us and get back to fundamentals."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 65 points, or 0.3%, to 19964. The S&P 500 climbed 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6%.
Investors have said stocks' postelection rally has been spurred by more than hopes for business-friendly policies under the new administration. Earnings for S&P 500 companies returned to growth in the third quarter, after five straight quarters of declines from the year-earlier period, according to FactSet.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of U.S. economic output, expanded at a 3.5% inflation and seasonally adjusted rate in the third quarter, according to the Commerce Department, its strongest pace in two years. And U.S. crude oil prices are back above $50 a barrel, easing some pressure on energy companies. On Friday, U.S. crude oil gained 0.4% at $53.99 a barrel.
The dollar strengthened and government bond prices fell. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, rose around 1%. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.417% from 2.370% Thursday. Yields rise as prices fall.
Write to Aaron Kuriloff at firstname.lastname@example.org and Georgi Kantchev at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 06, 2017 16:19 ET (21:19 GMT)Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.