Stocks head for big weekly gain after December jobs report


NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher in early trading today after a U.S. government report showed that hiring held up in December.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up six points to 13,399 as of 10:06 a.m. EST. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose two points to 1,461. The Nasdaq composite fell seven points to 3,094.

The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December. It also said hiring was stronger in November than first thought. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent.

READ MORE: Economy adds 155K jobs in December

Stocks have surged this week after lawmakers passed a bill to avoid a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases that had been set to take place Jan. 1. The law passed late Tuesday night averted that outcome, which could have pushed the economy back into recession.

The Dow is already up 2.3 percent for the year and the S&P 500 has advanced 2.6 percent.

Among stocks making big moves, Eli Lilly and Co. rose $1.83 to $51.59 after saying that its earnings will grow more than Wall Street expects, even though the drug maker will lose U.S. patent protection for two more product types this year.

Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, fell 43 cents to $37.35 after the company said that a measure of revenue fell more than analysts had expected in December, even as prescription counts continued to recover.

The 10-year Treasury note fell, pushing up its yield. The yield on the 10-year note gained 1 basis point to 1.92 percent.

Other notable stock moves;

Accuray Inc. plunged $1.50 to $5.21 after the radiation oncology equipment company reported weak sales and said it would cut 13 percent of its staff.

Lululemon, a yoga apparel maker, dropped $4.20 to $70.89 after Credit Suisse predicted slowing momentum and downgraded its stock.