US stocks finished with modest gains after the government reported a sharp drop in the unemployment rate. Information technology companies led stocks higher.
The Labour Department said that the unemployment rate dropped to 9% in January, the lowest rate since April 2009. But in a separate survey, the government said 36,000 new jobs were created last month, the fewest in four months.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points, or 0.2%, to close at 12,092. The S&P 500 index rose 3 points, or 0.3%, to 1,310. The Nasdaq gained 15 points, or 0.6%, to 2,769.
Falling shares outnumbered rising ones by a small margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Preliminary trading volume was 912 million shares.