US stocks closing: The Dow and the S&P 500 advanced modestly on Friday, though another sell-off in Apple depressed technology shares and kept the Nasdaq negative, overshadowing a sharply better-than-expected jobs report.
Trading was light, continuing the week's trend of slight moves and anemic volume. The S&P 500 ended up a mere 0.1 percent for the week, following several volatile sessions that repeatedly pushed it in and out of positive territory. The benchmark index is just 3.8 percent below the 2012 intraday high of 1,474.51 reached in mid-September.
Equities opened higher after the non-farm payrolls report, which showed 146,000 jobs added in November, far more than had been expected, while the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent. A sour reading on consumer sentiment caused an erosion of those gains, though markets rebounded going into the close.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for early December fell to its lowest level since August. Sentiment fell on growing concerns over the "fiscal cliff" debates in Washington, which have been a major factor preventing broader moves as well.
"We're not as concerned as we were a few months ago because of improvement like you can see in the employment number, but there's such a wild card over the cliff," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland, Ohio. "There are such concerns about what could happen that markets will be overhung until a resolution is more certain."
One of the biggest drags on the Nasdaq was Apple which fell 2.6 percent to $533.25, extending its losses for the week to 8.9 percent. This was the worst week for the stock since May 2010, and with the losses, the stock of the largest U.S. company by market value is now down 24.4 percent from an all-time intraday high reached in late September.
In Friday's session, Apple's 50-day moving average fell to $599.52 - below its 200-day moving average at $601.38. The weakness drove the S&P information technology sector lower. The index fell 0.6 percent and was the weakest of the S&P 500's 10 major industry sectors on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 81.09 points, or 0.62 percent, to 13,155.13 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4.13 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,418.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 11.23 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 2,978.04.
For the week, the Nasdaq is down 1.1 percent, hurt largely by the