Stocks Ended Higher on Strong Jobs, Manufacturing Data

U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday as investors bet that a spate of economic data, including the March jobs report, wouldn’t speed up the pace of interest-rate increases. The Dow industrial Average gained 107.66 points, or 0.61%, to 17,792.75 and rose 1.6% for the week. The S&P 500 gained 13.04 points, or 0.63%, to 2,072.78 and gained 1.8% on the week. The Nasdaq Composite gained 44.69 points, or 0.92%, to 4,914.54 for a weekly gain of 3%.

U.S. employment increased solidly in March and wages rebounded. Nonfarm payrolls increased 215,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. Data for January and February were revised slightly down to show 1,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported.

Economic activity at U.S. manufacturing companies expanded for the first time in six months in March, a key survey of executives found. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose to 51.8% last month from 49.5% in February.

Oil futures ended sharply lower on Friday, taking their weekly loss to nearly 7%, after comments from a Saudi Arabian prince cast doubt on whether the major crude producer would participate in any plan to stabilize global output.West Texas Intermediate crude for May settled at $36.79 a barrel, down $1.55 or 4%. June Brent crude fell $1.66, or 4.1%, to $38.67 a barrel.

BlackBerry Ltd.’s focus on mobile-device management software and services paid off for the smartphone maker in its latest quarter, but an almost 30% drop in revenue underscores its struggles to revive its handset business.

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