NEW YORK — Investors shrugged off a report of a sharp slowdown in hiring last month and left major U.S. stock indexes mostly higher.
Stocks wavered between gains and losses for much of the day, then crept higher in the last hour of trading today. Many investors concluded the report was an aberration to a large body of positive data about the U.S. economy.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended up four points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,842.
The Dow Jones industrial edged down seven points, just 0.05 percent, to 16,437. If not for a slump in Chevron, which reported a decline in oil and gas production late Thursday, the index would have risen slightly.
The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.4 percent, at 4,174.
Utility stocks rose the most.