Stocks erased most of their earlier gains to finish near the flatline in thin trading Friday, as investors booked profits ahead of the weekend following a robust rally all week. Still, all three major averages posted an impressive gain of over 7 percent for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished slightly lower, but still logged its second best weekly point gain ever and ended in positive territory for 2011.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended narrowly mixed. The S&P logged its best weekly percentage gain since March 2009.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, finished above 27.
For the week, the Dow soared 7.01 percent, the S&P surged 7.39 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 7.59 percent. All 30 Dow components finished higher for the week, led by Boeing and JPMorgan .
And all 10 S&P sectors finished in the black for the week, led by energy and financials. The least positive sector was utilities.
Among key S&P sectors, financials climbed, while health care and utilities lagged.
“Markets have done pretty well all week long so traders are looking to take some profit off the table,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing director at LandColt Trading. “But traders and investors shouldn’t look too much into this.”
Non-farm payrolls increased 120,000 last month, according to the Labor Department, while the jobless rate declined to a 2-1/2 year low of 8.6 percent. Economists had expected for a gain of 122,000.
"Today's jobs report is a game-changer for Main Street," said Schoenberger. "Americans will focus on the drop in the unemployment rate, rather than getting into the weeds of how we got there. Look for confidence and sentiment to improve, which could translate into an improved outlook as we enter 2012."
Earlier, stocks got a boost following a report that the ECB may be gearing up to lend as much as 200 bullion euros ($270 billion) to the IMF to ease the sovereign debt crisis, according to Bloomberg.