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U.S. stocks gained Friday after payrolls data showed strong job additions in February, but muted wage growth indicated a gradual rise in inflation that tempered expectations of faster interest rate increases. Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said, its biggest increase in more than 1 1/2 years.Average hourly earnings edged up four cents, or 0.1 percent, to $26.75 in February, a slowdown from the 0.3 percent rise in January. That lowered the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January.
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