The Dow and S&P 500 closed higher for the day and week following an upbeat government jobs report and amid ongoing "fiscal cliff" negotiations, while the Nasdaq finished in the red, dragged by Apple's sharp decline.
Apple shares slumped more than 2 percent as investors dumped the shares following news of Apples losses in market share.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 81.09 points, or 0.62 percent, to close at 13155.13, whilst the S&P500 gained 4.13 points, or 0.29 percent, to finish at 1,418.07. The Nasdaq however, slipped 11.23 points, or 0.38 percent, to end at 2,978.04.
On the economic front, the monthly non-farm payrolls rose by a surprising 146,000, with unemployment falling sharply to 7.7 percent in November according to the Labor Department. The report blew past expectations for a gain of 93,000, according to a Reuters poll.
Meanwhile, the consumer sentiment index tumbled to 74.5 from 82.7 in a preliminary December, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey, amid worries over the potential for higher taxes. Economists in a Reuters survey expected a reading of 82.4.
European shares finished narrowly mixed as gains were limited after Germany's central bank cut its growth outlook for the economy next year and amid worries about political uncertainty in Italy.
In China, industrial output and retail sales exceeded forecasts last month while inflation rebounded from a 33-month low in signs the economic recovery is accelerating.
Major currencies ended mixed against the US dollar after European and US trade on Friday. The Euro held between US$1.2880 and US$1.2970, and was around US$1.2925 at the US close. The Aussie dollar was again pushing towards $US1.05. It was recently buying $US1.0487, up from $US1.0477 late on Friday. It was also buying 86.57 yen, 81.43 euro cents and 65.44 pence.
World crude oil prices eased in choppy trade on Friday as investors weighed up mixed US economic data. Brent crude fell by US1c to US$107.02 and US Nymex crude lost US33c to US$85.93 a barrel. Over the week Brent lost 3.8 percent and Nymex fell by 3.4 percent.
Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metals Exchange on Friday. Tin, aluminium and lead fell up to 0.6 percent while other metals rose up to 0.4 percent. Over the week base metal prices fell up to 2.5 percent but copper rose 0.4 percent. The gold price rose on Friday with the Comex gold futures price up US$3.70 an ounce to US$1,705.50. Over the week gold lost US$7.20 or 0.4 percent. And the spot iron ore price rose by $2.60 to US$121.00 a tonne and gained $5.40 over the week.
In economic news this week, housing finance data is released today followed by NAB business conditions and confidence for November tomorrow. Wednesday we can expect Westpac consumer confidence for December and RBA credit card balances for October, followed by consumer inflation expectation for December on Thursday.
In the U.S. the focus will be on Wednesday’s release of import/export prices, oil inventories but more importantly, the FOMC forecasts and Bernanke’s press conference. Thursday we’ll see jobless claims, PPI, retail sales and business inventories. Friday rounds off the week with CPI and industrial production.