US STOCKS-Wall St up slightly as investors assess economic data

viernes 1 de abril de 2016 13:04 GYT

* March payrolls data better than expected

* Regeneron up after eczema treatment found effective

* Indexes up: Dow 0.12 pct, S&P 0.01 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

April 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street was slightly higher on Friday after data pointed to strength in the U.S. labor market and a rebound in the manufacturing sector.

Gains were limited by a nearly 4 percent fall in crude prices amid increasing skepticism around a deal to freeze crude production.

The Labor Department's report showed solid gains in nonfarm payrolls in March. Unemployment rate rose to 5 percent from an eight-year low of 4.9 percent as more Americans entered the labor force.

A separate report showed the U.S. manufacturing sector resumed growth in March, bolstered by strength in new orders, suggesting stronger corporate earnings ahead.

"Most of the economic data goes into a 'what will the Fed do' quandary," said Kim Forrest, research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. "I think what we've gotten today is that it's weak enough to still support the two rate hikes, maybe one rate hike."   Continuación...