* U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in Feb vs est. 190,000
* Unemployment rate edges down to 4.7 pct
* Indexes up: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.25 pct, Nasdaq 0.28 pct
(Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
March 10 U.S. stocks were off session highs on
Friday after a solid jobs report virtually sealed the deal for
the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next week, and
potentially set the course for an aggressive tightening path
Data showed 235,000 jobs were added in the public and
private sectors in February, far exceeding economists' average
estimate of 190,000.
With inflation edging closer to the Fed's 2 percent target,
traders are now pricing in a 92 percent chance of a rate
increase at the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting next
week, up from 85 percent before the data.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen's conference on March 15 following
the two-day meeting will be closely watched for clues on the
pace of future rate hikes.
"Investors are looking at the jobs report and they maybe
thinking that the Fed could be poised to move four times this
year," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston
Indeed, Goldman Sachs economists said they expect the Fed to
raise rates in March - which would be the first for the year -
and they now see the next hike in June rather than in September.
At 12:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 28.17 points, or 0.14 percent, at
20,886.36, the S&P 500 was up 5.98 points, or 0.25
percent, at 2,370.85 and the Nasdaq Composite was up
16.33 points, or 0.28 percent, at 5,855.13.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with technology
providing the biggest boost.
High-dividend paying real estate bucked the trend.
"There was an initial knee-jerk reaction to the upside and I
think things are cooling down a little bit," said from Myles
Clouston, senior director at Nasdaq Advisory Services in New
In the 49 days of Donald Trump's presidency, the Dow has
broken above 21,000 points and the S&P 500 has crossed $20
trillion in market value on bets that he would usher in an era
of tax cuts, simpler regulations and higher infrastructure
Still, the lack of detail on Trump's plans has raised
questions about valuations and taken the heat off the
Despite Friday's gains, the S&P and the Nasdaq are on track
to break a six-week winning streak.
Among stocks, AbbVie rose 2.9 percent and provided
the biggest boost to the S&P after Goldman Sachs issued an
upbeat report on the drugmaker.
Finisar Corp, was the biggest percentage loser on
the Nasdaq, with a 20 percent decline after the network
equipment maker gave disappointing revenue and profit forecasts
for the current quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,730
to 1,136. On the Nasdaq, 1,637 issues rose and 1,111 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 39 new 52-week highs and five new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 74 new highs and 24 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Shri Navaratnam and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)