Stock markets posted modest gains in New York Friday after the Labor Department
said the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in four years.
The unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent in June to 7.4 percent in July, but on the addition of only 162,000 jobs in the month -- fewer than expected.
Consumer spending in June rose 0.5 percent, in line with expectations, the Commerce Department said. Factory orders for June came in less than exacted with a gain of 1.5 percent.
The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average added 30.34 points or 0.19 percent, to 15,658.36. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 2.80 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,709.67, a new closing high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index gained 13.84 points, or 0.38 percent, to 3,689.59.
The New York Stock Exchange Friday saw 1,560 stocks advance and 1,497 decline on a volume of 3.1 billion shares traded.
Facebook hit a vainglorious milestone. The social network behemoth closed at $38.05 Friday, the first close above its opening day price of $38 since May 18, 2012, the day of its initial public offering, which was plagued by Nasdaq technical problems.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 3.29 percent, 460.39 points, to 14,466.16.
The 10-year treasury note rose 28/32 to yield 2.601 percent.
On currency markets, the euro fell to $1.328. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 98.96 yen.
Gold added $1.70 or 0.13 percent to $1,312.90 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division.
In after-hours trading, crude oil prices dropped $1.01 to $106.88 per barrel on the York Mercantile Exchange.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn dropped 4 cents at $4.63, November soybeans shed 12 1/2 cents to $11.80 and wheat for September contracts added 2 1/2 cents to $6.60 1/2.
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