Stocks fought off losses in the final hour of trading and the S&P 500 booked its longest winning streak in over a year as better-than-expected jobs growth overshadowed Congressional gridlock on a new COVID-19 relief package and growing tension between the U.S. and China.
The S&P 500 eked out a fractional gain of 0.06 percent to extend its winning streak to six days, the longest since April 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 47 points, or 0.17 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.87 percent.
Looking at the economy, U.S. payrolls added 1.763 million workers in July as the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 1.6 million jobs to push the unemployment rate down to 10.5 percent.
Leaders on Capitol Hill remained far apart on a number of key issues for a new COVID-19 relief package hours before Congress was set to recess until Sept. 8.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called a Democratic proposal to meet in the middle at a package size of $2 trillion a "non-starter." He and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows are expected to reccomend President Trump issue executive orders to extend some relief
In international news, Trump on Thursday evening issued an executive order stating TikTok, a social media app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance Ltd. that gathers data from its users, would be banned in 45 days if it is not sold to a U.S. company.
Chinese companies traded in the U.S., including Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent Music, all traded lower.