U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record after more jobs than expected were created in February and January's figure was revised higher. The S&P 500 ended at a record closing high for the second day in a row. Friday's milestone also was the S&P 500's fifth record closing high in the past seven sessions. Economists had expected a gain of 149,000 jobs, according to a Reuters poll.
That bet has helped equities shrug off bearish data and geopolitical uncertainties in Ukraine, taking the S&P 500 to a series of record highs. "We're hoping the payroll report means we're on a stronger footing going ahead and that we can get more robust growth going forward," said Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer of Fiduciary Trust Co in Boston.
Boeing Co said on Friday that "hairline cracks" had been discovered in the wings of about 40 787 Dreamliners that are in production, marking another setback for the company's newest jet. The cracks have not been found on planes that are in use by airlines and therefore posed no safety risk, Boeing said, adding the problem also will not alter Boeing's plans to deliver 110 787s this year. However, Boeing said the cracks, which also occurred on the larger 787-9 model currently undergoing flight tests, could delay by a few weeks the date when airlines can take delivery of their new planes. The disclosure raised questions about repair costs and a possible minor increase in the weight of the plane, but did not seem to spell major trouble for Boeing, industry experts said.