Upbeat NFP Pushes Dow Jones To 20,000 Threshold

U.S. shares turned higher on Friday following a December U.S. jobs report that was interpreted as generally positive. The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average inched closer to the psychologically important 20,000 level.

According to monthly data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added 156,000 jobs last month. Although the heading figure was much below the consensus of 180,000 jobs forecast by the economists, the reading for November was revised sharply upwards. In addition, worker pay rose at the fastest pace since the Great Recession at the rate of 0.4% in December.

Annual gain in 2016 jumped to 2.9% – the fastest increase since a recovery that began in mid-2009. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate climbed to 4.7% from 4.6% as more people entered the labor force in search of work.

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