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Nasdaq Leads, As Market Finds Bullish Angle In Data | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes headed toward their fourth up day in a row Friday, despite mixed economic data. The Street’s reaction was bullish, however, apparently seeing the plus side to bad data.

X The Nasdaq advanced 0.7%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average added 0.4% each. The small cap Russell 2000 edged up 0.1%.

Volume in the stock market today was down across the board.

The employment report served a sharp miss on December payrolls. The figure came in 22% lower than expected, 148,000 vs. views for 191,000, according to Econoday.

Yet the market shrugged it off, perhaps because the weak number makes an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve more likely. CME Group’s FedWatch Tool puts the likelihood of a rate hike in March at 67.5%, up sharply from 50.7% on Dec. 29.

Also, the November payroll figure was revised upward 10.5%, lessening some of December’s sting.

Meanwhile, the number of manufacturing jobs increased 67% in December. Manufacturing jobs generally pay well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average manufacturing job in 2016 paid $82,023, including pay and benefits.

Blue chip stocks were about evenly split between winners and losers. Among Dow stocks showing strong volume Friday, Apple (AAPL) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) led with 1% gains in fast trade. Exxon Mobil (XOM) skidded 1% in volume 38% above average.

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, the day’s leadership was diverse. Groups rising more than 1% included chips, internet stocks and the metal-handling group. The day’s biggest loser was the Canadian oil and gas explorers.

In the IBD 50, a list of the top stocks in fundamentals and technicals, December initial public offering Casa Systems (CASA) jumped 5% to lead the IBD 50.

Casa Systems provides network solutions. The small cap company delivered earnings growth of 18% in 2015 and then 30% in 2016. The stock has yet to form a base.

Stocks attempting breakouts Thursday included retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), media firm Sony (SNE) and fast-food chain Sonic (SONC). Sonic showed the most radical action, thrusting 7% higher and then reversing to a 0.3% gain.

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