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U.S. jobs data lifts Wall Street as tech, financials advance

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks climbed on Friday, with the S&P 500 index on track for its best gain in six sessions on the heels of a strong U.S. payrolls report, led by gains in technology stocks.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 222,000 jobs last month, data from the Labor Department showed, topping economists' expectations for a 179,000 gain.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent in June after gaining 0.1 percent in May, but fell short of the estimated 0.3 percent increase.

While the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent from a 16-year low of 4.3 percent, that was because more people were looking for work, a sign of confidence in the labor market.

The jobs report relieved investors who have paid close attention to wage growth and whether inflation will climb enough to justify the Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates once more this...


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