* 151,000 jobs added in August vs est. 180,000
* Unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9 pct
* Broadcom falls; weighs the most on S&P, Nasdaq
* Indexes up: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.25 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street was modestly higher on Friday as investors weighed the likelihood of an interest rate hike following a weaker-than-expected payrolls report and hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve official.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 151,000 jobs in August after an upwardly revised 275,000 increase in July, with job cuts in manufacturing and construction, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls rising by 180,000 last month.
Traders trimmed the probability of a Fed rate hike this month to 21 percent from the 24-percent chance on Thursday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program. However, the odds for a December rate increase moved up to 55.2 percent from the 53.6 percent the previous day.
“It does put a lot of pressure on the December meeting,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
“It just seems hard to believe, not even from a political point of view, just from a state of the economy point of view, that they would do anything in November while the election is still in flux.”
The U.S. economy appears strong enough to warrant significantly higher interest rates, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday. Lacker argued that a range of economic analysis suggests the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate is too low.
The Fed next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20-21.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, bounced back after touching a one-week low to trade up 0.22 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50.78 points, or 0.28 percent, to 18,470.08, the S&P 500 gained 6.43 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,177.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.85 points, or 0.25 percent, to 5,240.06.
The energy sector, up 1 percent, paced the gains as both WTI and Brent oil prices rose nearly 3 percent, but crude futures remained on track for a big weekly loss on glut concerns.
Lululemon Athletica was down 9.2 percent, on track for its worst day since early December, at $69.62 after the Canadian yoga wear retailer reported quarterly comparable-sales growth below expectations.
Broadcom fell 2.3 percent to $173 after the chipmaker’s revenue in its largest segment stalled in the latest quarter. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.80-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.91-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 127 new highs and 15 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)