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Dow tops 17,000 after strong jobs report

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Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 12:03 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average jumped above 17,000 for the first time Thursday after the government reported a surge in hiring last month that was much bigger than investors and economists were expecting.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow rose 83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,058 as of noon Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,983. The Nasdaq composite rose 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,479.

Major U.S. indexes closed at their latest all-time highs Wednesday following more signs that the U.S. economy is picking up. The S&P 500 is up 7.1 percent so far this year. Along with the Dow hitting 17,000, the S&P 500 is closing in on its own milestone of 2,000.

JOBS: The Department of Labor said U.S. employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls last month, far more than economists forecast. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. The government also said employers hired more people in previous months than reported earlier: 217,000 in May and 304,000 in April. The U.S. economy is now creating an average of 230,833 each month in 2014, compared with the 194,250 each month last year.

"Today's data topped even some of the most optimistic of forecasts," said Neil Massa, senior trader at John Hancock Asset Management.

GIVE A DOG A BONE: PetSmart, the pet supply chain, rose $7.51, or 13 percent, to $67.32 after the activist investor firm Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the company.

EUROPE: Major European markets also rose following the data out of the U.S. France's CAC 40 added 1 percent, while Germany's DAX increased 1.2 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies gained 0.7 percent.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Investors sold bonds after the strong jobs report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.65 percent from 2.63 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall. The price of crude oil slipped 78 cents to $103.70 a barrel.

HOLIDAY: U.S. markets will close at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and will remain closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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