U.S. stocks rose in choppy trading on Friday to finish the week higher, as higher-than-expected U.S. non- farm payrolls in June trumped fears over the Federal Reserve's possible tapering of its stimulus later this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 147.29 points, or 0.98 percent, to 15,135.84 points. The S&P 500 rose 16.48 points, or 1. 02 percent, to 1,631.89 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 35.71 points, or 1.04 percent, to 3,479.38 points.
The market logged a two-week gaining streak. For the week, the Dow was up 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.6 percent while the Nasdaq rose 2.2 percent.
Wall Street reopened higher Friday on the upbeat non-farm payroll report. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 195, 000 in June, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.6 percent, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
The fresh figures far exceeded economists' estimates of creating 165,000 jobs, but the jobless rate fell slightly short of their forecast of 7.5 percent. The flat unemployment rate reflected higher work-force participation rate, which stood at 63. 5 percent in June compared with 63.4 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The major stock indices pared earlier gains soon as investors began worrying that the Fed may start winding down its asset purchases sooner than they expected.
"I think the Fed has gotten what it needs to begin tapering. The substantial improvement in the labor market is there," Bruce Kasman, chief economist and managing director of Global Research at J.P. Morgan, said Friday at the U.S. Economic Outlook conference call.
"Thanks to revisions to April and May, the employment picture has changed dramatically in just one month. Given (Ben) Bernanke's penchant to judge job growth from the six-month average, he is likely to see this report as evidence of economic strength, both a vindication of quantitative easing and a reason to start curtailing it," FTN Financial's Chief Economist Christopher Low commented in a note on Friday.
Updating his forecast for the Fed's first reduction of asset purchases, Kaman said: "We've been sort of sitting on the fence between September and December, and now we are clearly believing it begins in the month of September."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said at a press conference after the Fed's June policy meeting that it would be appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of asset purchases later this year depending on incoming data.
However, the U.S. stock market again showed its impressive resilience. It shrugged off the fears and jumped sharply higher in the afternoon trading session because investors took the dip as a buying opportunity.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, dropped 1.46 percent to end at 16.20.
The U.S. market will see a new round of corporate earnings season next week, starting with the second-quarter earnings report from aluminum giant Alcoa next Monday.
In other markets, oil prices rose Friday after U.S. reported encouraging non-farm payrolls in June. Light, sweet crude for August delivery climbed 1.98 U.S. dollars, to settle at 103.22 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent for August delivery went up 1.96 dollar, to close at 107.72 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange lost 39.2 dollars, to settle at 1,212. 7 dollars per ounce on a stronger dollar Friday.
The U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies Friday on the upbeat jobs report in June. In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.2831 dollars from 1.3001 dollars of the previous session and the dollar bought 101.18 Japanese yen, higher than 99. 9 yen of the previous session.