NEW YORK — Stocks are mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street Friday after a surge in hiring in January was tempered by a weak revenue forecast by Amazon.The positive jobs report came a day after investors got encouraging news from the Federal Reserve, which confirmed that it will be “patient” in deciding when to raise interest rates.Stocks are coming off their biggest monthly gain since 2015 as investors worry less about the prospects of the U.S. economy dipping back into recession and as big U.S. companies report mostly higher earnings. Chevron and Exxon both gained after results beat forecasts, but Amazon fell.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,713 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 161 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 25,166. The Nasdaq composite edged up 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,295.JOBS: U.S. employers added 304,000 jobs in January, well above forecasts for 165,000. The government also revised its December figures sharply lower, to 222,000 from 312,000. Even with the revision, hiring has accelerated since last summer, a development that has surprised economists, because hiring typically slows when unemployment is so low.PRIME PROFIT: Amazon cashed in on a solid holiday shopping season, topping $3 billion in quarterly profit for the first time. Both profit and revenue beat Wall Street forecasts, but the results couldn’t outweigh disappointment over the e-commerce giant’s outlook.Amazon expects sales between $56 billion and $60 billion, while Wall Street analysts expected $60 billion. The stock fell 4.2 per cent to 1,646.04.OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX rose 0.03 per cent. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 per cent. Britain’s FTSE rose 0.4 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1 per cent.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1 per cent to 54.36 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 1.7 per cent to 61.86 in London.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A preliminary estimate by the Finance Department says the federal government posted a deficit of $11.8 billion for its 2018-19 fiscal year.The shortfall compared with a deficit of $16.7 billion for 2017-18.The Liberals’ spring budget had forecast a deficit of $14.9 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year which ended on March 31. Canada posts weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015 — but that’s not the whole story Stephen Poloz’s dashboard: Why Canada’s economy is not in as bad shape as it looks Wilkins sets the record straight on Bank of Canada’s thinking on its rate hold The shortfall came as the monthly fiscal monitor report said revenue rose $24.7 billion, or 8.1 per cent, due to increases in tax revenues and other revenues.Program expenses gained $18.5 billion, or 6.2 per cent, as major transfers to persons, major transfers to other levels of government and direct program expenses moved higher.Public debt charges increased $1.4 billion, or 6.3 per cent, due to a higher average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.