NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended moderately higher on Friday as disappointing jobs data added to hopes that the Federal Reserve will step up to help the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 14.64 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,306.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 5.80 points, or 0.40 percent, to 1,437.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.61 points, or 0.02 percent, to 3,136.42.
According to the highly-anticipated monthly non-farm payroll report released by the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 96, 000 jobs in August, lower than the previously expected 130,000.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July, mainly because lots of people give up seeking jobs.
The jobs data came in much weaker than market had expected and showed the jobs market was still far from recovery. However it fueled the speculation that the Fed will announce further measures to stimulus the economy in its upcoming policy meeting.
Last week, the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the central bank's past monetary policies and reiterated the central bank was ready to act if necessary.
Many analysts thought Bernanke's speech paved the way for more easing while the new jobs report gave way to the likelihood of action by the Fed.