Friday, October 05, 2012
Dow hits five-year high on jobs report
(Reuters) - The Dow Jones industrials index climbed to its highest level in nearly 5 years on Friday, after a surprise drop in the unemployment rate pointed to continued improvement in the labor market.
The S&P 500 rose for a fifth straight day and was also on course to close near a 5-year high. The index has appreciated nearly 17 percent so far this year, and is on track for its best yearly gain since 2009, when stocks rebounded after the financial crisis.
Labor Department data showed the jobless rate dropped by 0.3 percentage point in September to 7.8 percent, its lowest since January 2009, even as Americans came back into the labor force to resume the hunt for work. A separate survey of households found a big surge in hiring.
"What this suggests at the end of the day is that demand in the United States will hold up reasonably well," said Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey. "It wasn't so strong that it upset the apple cart for those that are looking for additional easing by the central banks."