Stocks Opened Slightly Lower After Employment Report

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday as investors assessed a monthly jobs report, which had strong headline numbers, but weak wage growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately slipped 45.60 points, or 0.25%, to 17,862.27. The S&P 500 was down 2.85 points, or 0.14%, to
2,059.29. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.51 points, or 0.03%, to 4,737.70.

U.S. job growth increased briskly in December, positioning the economy for a sturdy pace of expansion this year and keeping the Federal Reserve on course to start raising interest rates.Nonfarm payrolls increased 252,000 last month after an upwardly revised 353,000 jump in
November, the Labor Department said on Friday.

One of the major disappointments in the jobs report was the data on wages in December. Average hourly earnings fell 0.2% — against forecasts for a rise of 0.2% — to slow the year-on-year gain to 1.7%. That was the first drop since July 2013.

General Mills Inc. said it plans to eliminate another 500 jobs with the closures of two Pillsbury dough factories, adding to the roughly 1,400 job cuts it announced last year as it tries to improve profitability amid lackluster industry sales.

Online-storage company Box Inc. expects to raise as much as $186.9 million in its long-delayed initial public offering. The company said in a filing Friday that it plans to register as many as 14.4 million common shares in the offering, with an expected maximum price of $13 a share.

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