Stocks Rise on Jobs Data

Most U.S. stocks finished higher Friday as better-than-expected jobs numbers appeared to outweigh a drop in December consumer sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 81.09 points, or 0.62%, to close at 13,155.13, for a gain of 1% for the week. The S&P 500 Index finished up 4.13 points, or 0.29%, at 1,418.07, for a 0.1% gain for the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index, however, closed down 11.23 points, or 0.38%, to 2,978.04, for a weekly loss of 1.1%.

Americans’ outlook on the economy and their finances took a turn for the worse in early December, likely due to anxiety about the potential for higher taxes resulting from contentious discussions in Washington over fiscal issues, a survey released on Friday showed.The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of its index of consumer sentiment plunged to 74.5 in early December, the lowest level since August.

Americans took out more student and auto loans in September to boost consumer borrowing to a record level. But they cut back on credit card borrowing, a sign many remain cautious about taking on high-interest debt. Total consumer borrowing rose $11.4 billion in September compared with August.

Washington Post Co. (NYSE:WPO) said Friday that it will pay out its 2013 annual dividend in advance. The dividend of $9.80 per share will be paid Dec. 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17.

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