US STOCKS-Wall Street pulls off a rare four-day winning streak

viernes 4 de marzo de 2016 17:36 GYT

* February U.S. nonfarm payrolls increase 242,000

* HP Enterprise up after strong results

* Indexes end higher: Dow 0.37 pct, S&P 0.33 pct, Nasdaq 0.20 pct (Updates to close)

By Noel Randewich

March 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street ended higher on Friday after employment data allayed investors' concerns about a sluggish economy without bolstering fears of an imminent interest rate hike.

It was the first time since October that the S&P 500 has enjoyed a four-session winning streak. And for the first time since early January, the Dow Jones industrial average rose above the 17,000 mark while the S&P 500 ended a fraction below 2,000, levels that some traders see as psychologically important.

The gains followed a report that nonfarm payrolls increased by 242,000 jobs last month. However, lower wages and hours kept a lid on inflation, a key factor as the Federal Reserve weighs when to next raise U.S. interest rates.

"This number shows the economy is strong and the Fed's got time. It doesn't have to run off the sidelines and get involved in raising rates," said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago.

Traders still see the odds overwhelmingly against a rate hike at the Fed's meeting on March 15-16, although some see potential for an increase in June.   Continuación...