Solid Jobs Report Sends Stocks Up

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street Friday after a surge in hiring in January was tempered by a weak revenue forecast by Amazon.

The positive jobs report came a day after investors got encouraging news from the Federal Reserve, which confirmed that it will be "patient" in deciding when to raise interest rates.

Stocks are coming off their biggest monthly gain since 2015 as investors worry less about the prospects of the U.S. economy dipping back into recession and as big U.S. companies report mostly higher earnings. Chevron and Exxon both gained after results beat forecasts, but Amazon fell.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,713 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 161 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,166. The Nasdaq composite edged up 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,295.

JOBS: U.S. employers added 304,000 jobs in January, well above forecasts for 165,000. The government also revised its December figures sharply lower, to 222,000 from 312,000. Even with the revision, hiring has accelerated since last summer, a development that has surprised economists, because hiring typically slows when unemployment is so low.

PRIME PROFIT: Amazon cashed in on a solid holiday shopping season, topping $3 billion in quarterly profit for the first time. Both profit and revenue beat Wall Street forecasts, but the results couldn't outweigh disappointment over the e-commerce giant's outlook.

Amazon expects sales between $56 billion and $60 billion, while Wall Street analysts expected $60 billion. The stock fell 4.2 percent to 1,646.04.

OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX rose 0.03 percent. France's CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent. Britain's FTSE rose 0.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.1 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 percent to 54.36 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 1.7 percent to 61.86 in London.

(BE)