The U.S. stocks managed to trade higher on Friday, amid signs of some momentum in U.S. hiring.
The market opened mixed on Friday after a key jobs report posted a steady U.S. employment growth, with the jobless rate unchanged in December.
In the previous session, main stock indices closed slightly lower, snapping a two-day massive rally as investors feared that the U.S. Federal Reserve might end its asset-purchasing program earlier than expected.
According to the Labor Department's latest report, U.S. non- farm employers added 155,000 jobs in December, in line with market estimate, despite the tense "fiscal cliff" negotiations in Washington.
However, the solid hiring growth wasn't enough to bring down the country's unemployment rate, which stayed at 7.8 percent in December, still well above the average rate over the last 60 years of about 6 percent.
The current situation in the jobs market indicated that the Fed would not yet consider halting its plans to buy bonds, according to some analysts.
Working Americans' average hourly earnings advanced 0.3 percent in December, while the length of the average work week also gained slightly.
A better-than-expected expansion of U.S. service firms in December also helped boost the market. The Institute for Supply Management reported on Friday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 56.1 in December, the highest level since February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Moreover, U.S. factory orders were flat in November compared with October, and companies increased their orders for manufactured goods that reflect investment plans, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
In terms of individual stocks, SolarCity Corp., a solar-power provider, jumped almost 14 percent after saying that its installations will surge 60 percent this year.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 17. 93 points, or 0.13 percent, to 13,409.29. The broader S&P 500 Index gained 3.91 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,463.28. The tech- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 2.42 points, or 0.08 percent, to 3,102.99.