Investing.com – The Dow racked up its sixth weekly gain on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected last month. But Amazon's tumble back into bear-market territory kept a lid on gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.26%. The S&P 500 closed flat while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.25%. The Nasdaq also finished higher for a sixth straight week, and the S&P 500's weekly gain was its fifth in six weeks.
The U.S. economy created 304,000 jobs in January, up from 222,000 the prior month. That was above economists' forecast of 165,000 and comes after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which seemingly had a muted impact on job growth.
Wage growth, meanwhile, slowed to 0.1%, below expectations for a 0.3% rise, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked higher to 4% from 3.9% in December.
But that did little sour to sentiment on stocks even as analysts said further signs of underlying strength in the economy could prompt the Fed to back away from its current wait-and-see approach concerning rate hikes.
"If the Fed keeps getting solid macro reports like this and escapes geopolitical risks into a March timeframe intact then the Powell put could well be struck down," Scotiabank said.
The strong jobs report helped limit the impact from weakness in consumer discretionary stocks, led by Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN).
Amazon fell back into bear-market territory after falling 5.4% on Friday as its upbeat fourth-quarter results was undone by concerns raised during its earnings call with investors. A bear market is usually defined as a 20% from a recent high. In late December, the shares were down as much as 36% from their 52-week high. Gains since Dec. 24 had trimmed the decline to less than 20% on Wednesday. The shares are now down 20.7%.
The e-commerce giant said it would likely increase investment in 2019 and raised concerns about new regulation in India.
Elsewhere on the earnings front, Deckers Outdoor (NYSE:DECK), best known for its UGG brand, posted earnings that beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines, and ramped up its share buyback program. Its shares surged 10.5%.
The energy sector, meanwhile, served up impressive gains as oil prices settled sharply higher following a fall in rig counts and signs that U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan exports have trimmed supply.
In corporate news, Pizza chain Papa John's International (NASDAQ:PZZA) slumped 9% as it put a stake of itself up for sale after offers for the company from private equity firms were deemed too low.
Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:
Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC), FMC (NYSE:FMC) and Aon (NYSE:AON) were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), WestRock (NYSE:WRK) and IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.