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US stocks flat after mixed December jobs data

Wall Street stocks were flat early Friday following a mixed US jobs report amid continued optimism on US-China trade relations.

The US added 145,000 new positions in December, a bit short of economists' expectations, but the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 percent, remaining at a 50-year low, according to the Labor Department report.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, said the report was "supportive of an 'on hold' Fed stance, though we would have to see coming months readings to see if the slowdown in payrolls is more persistent.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood 28,942.51, down 0.1 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 was up a hair at 3,275.56, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was essentially unchanged at 9,204.17.

All three indices finished at records Thursday amid relief that a US-Iran conflict did not appear to be escalating and that trade deal with China is slated to be signed later this month.