Stocks closed mixed Friday, as even a strong government employment report was not enough to offset ongoing worries over the euro zone debt crisis.
Still, all three major averages logged strong gains for the shortened trading week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.78 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish at 12,359.92, dragged by Alcoa and BofA.
The S&P 500 slipped 3.25 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 1,277.81. Nasdaq gained 4.36 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 2674.22. The Nasdaq posted its best week in six.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished below 21.
For the week, the Dow jumped 1.17 percent, the S&P climbed 1.61 percent and the Nasdaq soared 2.65 percent. BofA was the biggest Dow gainer, while Verizon slumped.
Materials were the best performers among S&P sectors, while telecoms declined.
Non-farm payrolls jumped 200,000 in December, according to the Labor Department, pushing the jobless rate to a near three-year low of 8.5 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 150,000.
Futures soared immediately following the report, but the rally soon fizzled as some skeptical traders attributed the robust gain to a temporary seasonal effect.
"The wildcard is Januaryas retailers trim seasonal staff," said Todd Schoenberger, managing director of LandColt Trading. "An upside surprise will validate the argument that an economic recovery is, indeed, talking place."
Meanwhile, some continued to be optimistic over the jobs recovery.
“There may be seasonal fluctuations, but overall, we’ll continue to see improvement in jobs,” said Zahid Siddique, associate portfolio manager of Gabelli Equity Trust. “Europe still remains a wildcard…they could have an impact in the U.S. but we think we can still avoid a recession despite the problems.”