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US: Dow hits 15,000 levels, S&P 500 tops 1,600 on job market strength

Reuters
May 04, 2013 at 10:37am IST

New York: US stocks added to gains on Friday, with the Dow industrials at a record high above 15,000 after a strong payrolls report for April and large upward revisions showed the jobs market is healing despite the sluggish recovery in the overall economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 176.4 points or 1.19 per cent, to 15,007.98, the S&P 500 gained 20.7 points or 1.3 per cent, to 1,618.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 46.01 points or 1.38 per cent, to 3,386.64.

The S&P 500 index broke above 1,600 and the Dow briefly traded above 15,000 for the first time as stocks extended this year's rally.

US: Dow hits 15, 000 on job market strength

The S&P and Dow were on track to end the week with a gain shy of 2 per cent, while the Nasdaq added 3.3 per cent so far this week.

Confirming the broad strength of the market's advance, the mid- and small cap Russell 2000 stock index rose 2 per cent to a record.

Non-farm payrolls rose by 165,000 last month and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 per cent, a four-year low, from 7.6 per cent, the government said. In addition, hiring was much stronger than previously thought in February and March.

Investors welcomed the gains after weeks of disappointing data, including tepid manufacturing reports, that suggested the economic recovery was losing steam.

Of the 404 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 68.3 per cent have beaten earnings expectations, but only 46.3 per cent have reported revenue above expectations.

Over the past four quarters, 67 per cent of companies beat on earnings and 52 per cent beat revenue estimates.

The S&P and Dow were on track to end the week with a gain shy of 2 per cent, while the Nasdaq added 3.3 per cent so far this week.

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