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The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. economy added 130,000 nonfarm jobs as the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, remaining near a 50-year low. Economists surveyed by Refinitv were expecting the addition of 158,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold at 3.7 percent.
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The fact that the jobs report missed expectations was seen on Wall Street as potentially encouraging the Federal Reserve to be more aggressive later this month when it decides how much to cut interest rates by.
Mike Loewengart, vice president-investment strategy for E*TRADE Financial Corp., noted in a statement to FOX Business the report shows that U.S. jobs gains are moderating.
"Unemployment remains consistent and hourly earnings ticked up, a move we haven’t seen in some time," he said. "And it’s below expectations and depressed enough to fuel the Fed’s drive to cut rates this month, so in some ways there is something to like for everyone."
Tech giants Facebook and Alphabet were in focus Friday morning after a report from The Wall Street Journal said dozens of state attorneys general will launch an investigation next week into their control over personal data.
On the retail front, athletic apparel maker Lululemon and specialty retailer Zumiez were sharply higher after reporting better-than-expected earnings and sales.
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Treasury yields were little changed with the 10-year yield holding near 1.56 percent ahead of a 12:30 p.m. ET discussion between Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Swiss National Bank head Thomas Jordan at the University of Zurich.
In Europe, stocks were little changed after two sessions of gains.
Asian shares rose Friday as investors cheered plans for more trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing and drew encouragement from positive U.S. economic data out Thursday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng and China's Shanghai Composite saw weekly gains of 3.8 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, making for their biggest weekly advances since late June.