You can hardly call this a relief rally, but North American stocks edged higher on Friday morning after a U.S. report on job losses in August was slightly better than expected, removing a potential source of stress from the end-of-week trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25 points or 0.3 per cent, to 9370. The broader S&P 500 rose 4 points or 0.4 per cent, to 1007.
Financials were relatively strong, with Bank of America Corp. up 1.8 per cent and JPMorgan Chase & Co. up 0.7 per cent.
Investors turned their noses up at junk food though. Coca-Cola Co. fell 0.8 per cent and McDonald's Corp. fell 0.2 per cent.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 30 points or 0.3 per cent, to 10,951.
Gold, which had been propelling stocks in the materials subindex for the past two days, took a breather before it topped $1,000 (U.S.) an ounce. It traded at $992 an ounce, down nearly $6 - driving down gold producers. Barrick Gold Corp. fell 1.7 per cent and Goldcorp Inc. fell 1.2 per cent.
Energy stocks were mixed after the price of crude oil fell to $67.71 a barrel, down 25 cents. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1.2 per cent but EnCana Corp. fell 0.6 per cent.
Financials were strong, with Sun Life Financial Inc. rose 2 per cent, Manulife Financial Corp. rose 1 per cent and Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 1.1 per cent.