US stocks gain on solid June jobs report

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks won solid gains on Friday (July 7), with technology shares outperforming the broader market, after a better-than-expected US jobs report for June.

The US economy added 222,000 jobs last month, the government data showed, far above the 173,000 expected by analysts.

But not all of the details were great: wage growth remained weak and high-paying manufacturing jobs were flat.

Still, analysts were generally upbeat.

"We can nit pick about the details, which weren't nearly as great as the headline number, but there is no escaping the fact that employer complaints notwithstanding, firms are hiring," economist Joel Naroff said.

Some analysts said the blemishes in the report could be positive for stocks, since they implied the Federal Reserve would continue its cautious approach to tightening monetary policy rather than accelerating the schedule of interest rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent to end the holiday-shortened week at 21,413.25.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.6 per cent to close at 2,425.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1 per cent to 6,153.08.

Technology shares were a clear winner, with Apple, Facebook, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft all gaining more than 1 per cent.

Dow members that outperformed included McDonald's and Nike, which each advanced more than one percent.

But shares of several petroleum producers underperformed the overall market, with Apache, Devon Energy and Marathon Oil all losing more than 1 per cent.

Berkshire Hathaway advanced 0.5 per cent after striking an all-cash deal to buy Texas transmission assets under Energy Futures Holdings bankruptcy.

The companies said the price of the transaction was US$9 billion (S$12 billion). The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, reported the total value of the deal at US$18 billion, including debt.