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Dow ekes out gain Friday, stocks book second week in a row of gains

Major U.S. stock indexes ended a choppy session mixed Friday, while still posting weekly gains, after monthly jobs data showed the Federal Reserve’s rapid pace of interest rate hikes has yet to tame the roaring labor market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 33 points Friday, or 0.1%, ending near 34,428, after flipping between gains and losses. The S&P 500 index shed 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2%, according to FactSet. The main benchmarks still booked a second weekly advance in a row. The Dow rose 0.2% for the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.1% and the Nasdaq closed the week up 2.1%, according to FactSet. A hope that Federal Reserve officials might be able to raise rates at a slower pace in December has been feeding a more bullish tone in markets over the past two months, helping to significantly trimming year-to-date losses. But with the U.S. unemployment rate still low at 3.7% and wages rising in November, concerns resurfaced about the potential need for aggressive Fed actions to bring inflation down. Economists said Friday that could put another jumbo rate increase back on the table ahead of the holidays.

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