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Stocks edge higher as jobs report reassures Wall Street

Trader Michael Capolino works at the NYSE, Aug.

Trader Michael Capolino works at the NYSE, Aug. 16, 2017 Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Not great, but good enough: U.S. stocks rose Friday as investors viewed a relatively weak jobs report for August as likely to help keep interest rates low.

The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in August. That was a bit less than analysts expected, but investors were pleased that the economy kept growing at a steady pace while inflation remains weak. They bet that will keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates this month. Investors have worried at times that the Fed would raise rates too fast and cause the economy to stumble.

“The market is looking at economic news that is below expectations as a sign that the Fed is not going to do much in terms of interest rate hikes,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.2 percent, to 2,475.55. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 39.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,987.56. The blue chip index had its first change in more than two years, as longtime Dow component DuPont combined with former rival Dow Chemical to form DowDuPont. The Nasdaq composite added 0.1 percent, to 6,435.33. — AP

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