Stocks rose slightly on Friday, putting them on track for a three-day winning streak, despite the release of weaker-than-expected jobs data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 52 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.15% while the Nasdaq Composite traded just above the flatline.
The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected jobs to grow by 150,000 last month. Unemployment remained steady at a rate of 3.7% while wages grew more than expected. Wages expanded by 0.4% on a month-over-month basis and by 3.2% year over year.
August marked the third straight month that job creation in the U.S. slowed. In June, 178,000 jobs were added while 159,000 were created in July.
Treasury yields dipped from their session highs on the data. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 1.57% from around 1.6% earlier in the day.
“That payroll number was not great, but it’s not bad,” said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “It probably keeps the Fed on track for a rate cut.”
Friday’s data and moves come as investors look for clues about the Federal Reserve’s next monetary policy move later this month. Market expectations for a 25 basis-point rate cut are at 91.2%, according the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
Stocks were headed for solid weekly gains after the U.S. and China agreed to hold high-level talks in early October. The Dow and S&P 500 were up 1.2% and 1.6% for the week, respectively entering Friday’s session. The Nasdaq had gained 1.9% week to date.
The news about the trade talks raised hopes that the world’s two largest economies could soon make substantial progress in de-escalating their protracted trade dispute.
“The fact that the major indices hit new five-week highs in a concerted fashion confirms the end of the August pullback, and barring another twist in the trade war, a larger scale rally is likely underway in the stock market,” said Ken Berman, founder of Gorilla Trades, in a note.
In corporate news, Lululemon shares jumped more than 7% on quarterly results that topped analyst expectations. The apparel maker said its same-store sales — a key metric for retailers — rose 15% for the year-earlier period. Lands’ End and Signet Jewelers also rose 2.5% and 4%, respectively, on better-than-expected earnings.
—CNBC’s Spriha Srivastava and Sam Meredith contributed to this report.
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