Stock indexes were little changed in early trading Friday amid a mixed payroll report and a widening trade deficit. Payrolls rose by 156,000 in December, the Department of Labor said in a report, missing projections for an increase of 175,000. The unemployment rate was little changed, rising to 4.7%. About 2.2 million people
went back to work in 2016, less than the 2.7 million who found jobs in 2015, the BLS said.
Wages, however, rose 10 cents in December to $26 an hour after edging down 2 cents in November, according to the report. The average hourly earnings rose by 2.9% in 2016.
The US trade deficit widened to a 20-month high of $45.2 billion in November, leaving the trade gap well above the 13-month low of $36.9 billion in March. The deficit was still narrower than forecast by the advance trade report thanks for a boost in exports.