Dow hits 29,000 for first time ever
NEW YORK - The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 29,000 for the first time despite the December jobs report falling short of expectations. All three of the major averages were trading in record territory.
The U.S. economy added 145,000 nonfarm jobs in December, the Labor Department said on Friday, missing economists' estimates of 164,000.
"The number was a touch lighter than expectations but showed solid payrolls and wage growth, which should be enough to keep the consumer spending and the economy muddling along," said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. The unemployment rate held at 3.5 percent.
The Dow crossing 29,000 is a "signal that investors are more comfortable with the economy, the decrease in trade tensions and now the decrease in Middle East tensions," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance. Those concerns had intensified after the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, whom Washington viewed as a terrorist, in early January and Tehran threatened a harsh response.
Boeing shares were lower after the release of internal messages showed employees discussed misleading regulators about flight simulator problems with the 737 Max aircraft, which was grounded in 2019 after two fatal crashes. The jetliner had been the best-selling model in Boeing's history until that point.
GrubHub was under pressure after denying it is looking to sell itself. Shares gained more than 13 percent over the previous two sessions after The Wall Street Journal reported the company had hired advisers to look into its strategic alternatives.
Meanwhile, Eli Lily announced a deal to buy skin disease specialist Dermira for $1.1 billion, or $18.75 a share.
On the earnings front, Synnex gained after reporting fourth-quarter results that topped estimates and guiding first-quarter projections above Wall Street forecasts. The technology supply chain service provider also announced it would split into two publicly listed companies – Synnex Technology Solutions and customer experience provider Concentrix.
Elsewhere, KB Home fell after fourth-quarter revenue missed expectations because of lower home prices.
Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was little changed at $59.50 a barrel and gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,556 an ounce.
U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 2.1 basis points to 1.837 percent.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE slipped 0.1 percent after the House of Commons passed a bill authorizing the country’s departure from the European Union, which is scheduled to occur on Jan. 31. Elsewhere, Germany’s DAX was up 0.2 percent and France’s CAC gained 0.1 percent.
Overnight, markets in Asia were mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei rallied 0.57 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 percent while China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 percent.