By Ankur Banerjee and Parikshit Mishra
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks extended gains on Friday, with the Nasdaq touching a record, after data showed strong job additions in February but muted wage growth that indicated a gradual rise in inflation and helped temper expectations of faster interest rate increases.
Helping sentiment on Friday, a day when the bull market for stocks turned nine, were signs of a potential breakthrough in nuclear tensions in the Korean peninsula and President Donald Trump's softened stance on tariffs.
"You got sort of a Goldilocks report with stronger employment, coupled with modest wage growth, but not enough that forces the Fed to act more rapidly than they otherwise would," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
Strong jobs data last month fuelled speculation that higher wages could lead to faster interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, rattling global equities market.
However, the slow wage growth in February could temper expectations that the Fed will change its rate forecast to four hikes this year from three.
At 11:02 a.m. ET, Dow Jones industrial average was up 264.51 points, or 1.06 percent, the S&P 500 was up 27.89 points, or 1.02 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 79.29 points, or 1.07 percent. The index touched a record of 7,514.34.
The stock markets' bull run appears poised to set the record as the longest in history, buoyed by global economic growth and stronger company earnings.
Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years.
Average hourly earnings edged up 0.1 percent, a slowdown from the 0.3 percent rise in January. That lowered the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January.
Worries that the hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium could ignite a global trade war had roiled markets since last Thursday, with the exit of chief economic adviser Gary Cohn intensifying the concerns.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,923 to 850. On the Nasdaq, 1,904 issues rose and 864 fell.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)