US STOCKS-Wall St higher in choppy trading after jobs data
* Feb nonfarm payrolls increase 242,000
* HP Enterprise up after strong results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.28 pct, S&P 0.26 pct, Nasdaq 0.14 pct (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher in choppy trading on Friday as data showing the economy added more jobs than expected last month was tempered by a drop in wages and hours worked.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by a 242,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. However, wages and hours worked fell, keeping a lid on inflation, a key factor in the Federal Reserve's decision to raise rates.
The Fed has targeted a 2 percent annual inflation as a precursor to a sustained rise in interest rates.
"The number was strong enough to worry investors about the Fed's desire to move again in March, and yet was not so strong to put on the table a higher-than-a-coin-toss probability that it occurs in March," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
"The number had a little something for everybody, but at the same left enough confusion in the market to not take anything away from it." Continuación...