NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were moving higher in afternoon trading on Friday, despite the fact that Wall Street got a dismal jobs report for January that showed the U.S. economy remaining in dire straits due to the pandemic.
Investors continue to hope that more help for the economy is on the way from Washington. Overnight the Senate narrowly passed a measure that will fast-track aid.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.4% as of 12:05 p.m. Eastern. It’s on track for a weekly gain of more than 4%, which would be its biggest since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, 96 points, or 0.3%, to 31,152 points. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4%.
The Department of Labor said that employers added only 49,000 jobs in the month of January, far below economists’ forecasts. The disappointing report came as much of the country remains saturated with coronavirus cases, which caused some jurisdictions like California or New York to partially shut down again last month. A report on Thursday showed the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits remained well above historic norms.