Richard Drew/APA board overlooking the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows an intraday number above 1,600 for the S&P 500 on Friday. A big gain in the job market lifted the stock market to a record high.
By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK -- The Dow and S&P 500 advanced to all-time closing highs on Friday, with major indexes jumping 1 percent after an unexpectedly strong April jobs report eased concerns about an economic slowdown.

The S&P closed above 1,600 and the Dow briefly traded above 15,000 for the first time as stocks extended this year's rally. Bellwether companies, including Chevron Corp. (CVX), Boeing Co. (BA) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), reached 52-week highs.

The Russell 2000 stock index of mid- and small cap companies also hit a record, confirming the broadness of the rally. About 70 percent of stocks on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq ended in positive territory.

Non-farm payrolls rose by 165,000 last month and the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, a four-year low, from 7.6 percent, 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.

"We were all wringing our hands over the past month but this alleviates fears about a sharp spring slowdown," said Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at Charles Schwab in Denver.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) was up 140.61 points, or 0.95 percent, at 14,972.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) was up 16.63 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,614.22. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMPX) was up 38.01 points, or 1.14 percent, at 3,378.63.

Both the Dow and S&P ended at all-time closing highs. For the week, the Dow rose 1.8, the S&P gained 2 percent and the Nasdaq rose 3 percent in its biggest weekly climb since the first week of the year.

Sectors tied to the pace of economic growth and to commodity prices were among the strongest gainers. U.S. Steel Corp. (X) rose 6.3 percent to $18.14 while WPX Energy Inc. (WPX) was up 5 percent to $16.56. U.S. crude oil futures rose 1.5 percent to settle at $95.43 a barrel.

"Commodity stocks are outperforming with the jobs number alleviating fears over a slowdown," said Sorensen. "The group has pulled back over the past months and they got a bit overdone. There are still really good growth opportunities there."

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) closed up 2.6 percent at $31.13, after prices of copper posted the biggest daily gain since late October 2011.

General Electric Co. (GE), up 1.1 percent at $22.57, led gains among industrials after it won approval to buy oilfield pump maker Lufkin Industries Inc. (LUFK) for about $3 billion. The deal will allow GE to sharply increase its presence in the market to extract oil and natural gas from shale.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) shares rose 5.7 percent to $55.15 after reaching a record high of $56.35. The world's largest maker of branded HIV drugs reported a big rise in quarterly profit late on Thursday.

LinkedIn Corp shares fell 13 percent to $175.59 a day after the social network reported disappointing revenue forecasts.

Of the 404 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 68.3 percent have beaten earnings expectations, but only 46.3 percent have reported revenue above expectations. Over the past four quarters, 67 percent of companies beat on earnings and 52 percent beat revenue estimates.

In other economic reports on Friday, U.S. factory orders fell sharply in March while the pace of growth in the vast U.S. services sector eased in April to the slowest pace in nine months.

About 6.33 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average so far this year of about 6.36 billion shares.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Value Investing

Are you the next Warren Buffett?

View Course »

What Is Your Risk Tolerance?

Answer the question "What type of investor am I?".

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

49 Comments

Filter by:
rich_paddlyrich

If the republicans had a republican president in the White House they would be thrilled and jumping for joy at the recent news about the jobs report and the record set on Wall Street. Well seeing that we don't have a republican president in the White House at this time, do I really need to say more?

May 04 2013 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kc2idv

Drop in unemployment is more likely an increase in the number of people who have used up their extended unemployment benefits.

May 04 2013 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dfxd

i keep reading these reports of job gains, yet more and more people in my area are losing
theirs-wassup

May 04 2013 at 7:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

They outsourced the baby boomers for bribes.

May 04 2013 at 1:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
apartyof.omg.nojobs

ABOLISH THIS MUSLIM CLOWNS WELFARE "HELL" CARE OR ALL AMERICANS GET 3<===8

May 03 2013 at 11:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Hello Bob

The intellectual level of the conversation on this thread is deteriating exponentially as the clock nears mid-night. In fact most of you would not know the difference between fly chit and pepper, particularly once you put it in your mouth.

May 03 2013 at 11:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hello Bob's comment
clarita995

so go back to huffffing_ho where they not only HAVE FECES for brains they are totally full of it as in FECIFIED.
feeee-cee-fied (n) 100% composition of feces,solidly impacted
huffpost super user,community pundit etc.

May 04 2013 at 12:53 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
apartyof.omg.nojobs

RAISE ALL THE RENTS ON ALL SECTION 8ERS SKY HIGH N IF OBIE DONT PAY,THROW THEM ALL THE HELL OUT . !

May 03 2013 at 11:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Gregg

Where's all those shovel ready jobs Obummer promised you little libs? Of course none of you gold bricks wanted to work in the first place so no big deal.

May 03 2013 at 11:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gregg's comment
apartyof.omg.nojobs

ALL OF AMERICA GOT THE SHOVEL RIGHT UP THEIR ARSE THATS THE ONLY SHOVEL. ! !

May 03 2013 at 11:11 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
alantatanka

What a joke!!!

May 03 2013 at 10:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
petpetdon

7.5% that number reflects the percentage of people that are still able to collect unemployment. The real unemployment number is about 14%. Obama hasn't done a thing for this country. He needs to be impeached and then hung for treason.

May 03 2013 at 10:32 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petpetdon's comment
apartyof.omg.nojobs

14% RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT FOR THE LAT 4 PLUS YEARS ,ALONG WITH HIS RECORD FORECLOSURES ~~>REMOVE THIS MUSLIM CLOWN OUT OF OUR WHITE HOUSE IN HANDCUFFS N DEPORT HIM N ALL HIS TRASH. !~

May 03 2013 at 10:59 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply