NEW YORK, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street inched up on Friday after the U.S. government reported a better-than-expected job data.
The Labor Department said the economy added a total of 151,000 jobs in October, a net gain in jobs for the first time in five months, which is far more than analysts had been expecting.
Employers also extended the average work week to 34.3 hours, up by one-tenth. That increase boosts workers' incomes and provides fuel for more consumer spending.
The department also revised August and September's payroll figures higher. The private sector added 103,000 more jobs in those two months than previously estimated.
Meanwhile, investors were a little bit frustrated as the unemployment rate stayed at 9.6 percent despite the improvement in job creation.
The number of sales agreements for previously occupied homes fell unexpectedly in September in the United States, due to the foreclosure moratoriums which have disrupted activity in the housing market, a leading U.S. industry group reported Friday.
The National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales, which measures the number of contracts to buy previously owned homes that were signed but not yet closed, dipped 1.8 percent to a reading of 80.9 in September. Economists had expected a gain of 2 percent.
Financial and energy sectors led stocks a step further on Friday after major indexes closed at pre-crisis level on Thursday, boosted by a 600-billion-dollar bond-buying program from the Federal Reserve.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 9.24 points, or 0.08 percent, to 11,444.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 4.79 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,225.85 and the Nasdaq rose 1.64 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,578.98.
Boosted by the job data, crude prices rose slightly despite stronger U.S. dollar. Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose 36 cents to settle at 86.85 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In London, Brent crude was up 11 cents to settle at 88.11 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.