* Dow rises to as much as 19,999.63.
* 156,000 jobs added in December vs est. 178,000
* Nasdaq on track to gain 2.6 pct this week
* Indexes up: Dow 0.49 pct, S&P 0.55 pct, Nasdaq 0.81 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 6 (Reuters) - The Dow came within a hair’s breadth of hitting 20,000 for the first time ever on Friday as Wall Street staged a swift recovery, helped by technology stocks.
A rise in Apple pushed the three major indexes to record highs.
Apple’s shares rose 1.1 percent to $117.86 after Canada’s Competition Bureau said it did not find sufficient evidence iPhone maker had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, closing a two-year investigation into the company.
The Nasdaq is on track to be the biggest gainer in Wall Street’s first trading week of the year, rising about 2.6 percent. The S&P was set to gain 1.8 percent and the Dow 1.1 percent.
The first record high of the year for the S&P 500 follows a U.S. Labor Department report that showed the economy added fewer-than-expected jobs last month but wages increased, suggesting resilience in the labor market.
At 12:36 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 97.41 points, or 0.49 percent, at 19,996.7. The index rose to as much as 19,999.63.
The S&P 500 was up 12.55 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,281.55. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 44.27 points, or 0.81 percent, at 5,532.21, easing slightly from an all-time high of 5,526.38.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by the technology sector’s 1.06 percent gain.
Amgen rose 3.3 percent, after a U.S. district judge blocked Sanofi and Regeneron from selling their cholesterol drug, which Amgen said infringed its patents. Regeneron was off 7 percent and was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,673 to 1,081. On the Nasdaq, 1,435 issues fell and 1,140 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)