Stocks Cheer Surprisingly Good Jobs Data

U.S. stocks jumped on Friday after a surprisingly strong jobs report enlivened hopes that the economic recovery was picking up speed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156.82 points, or 1.23%, to 12,862.23, its highest close since May 2008. The S&P 500 gained 19.36 points, or 1.46%, to 1,344.90. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 45.98 points, or 1.61%, to 2,905.66, its highest close since Dec. 2000. For the week, the Dow gained 1.6%. The S&P 500 rose 2.2% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 3.2%, the fifth straight week of gains for both indexes.

The U.S. gained 243,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dipped to 8.3% as nearly every sector of the economy added workers, the Labor Department said Friday.

Crude-oil futures closed higher Friday, putting a halt to five-session retreat as positive U.S. economic data and a pull back in the dollar buoyed demand prospects for oil. Light, sweet crude for March delivery rose $1.48, or 1.5%, to settle at $97.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after tapping a high of $98.03.

Treasury prices dropped on Friday, pushing benchmark 10-year yields up by the most in more than three months. Yields on 10-year notes, which move inversely to prices, rose 12 basis points to 1.95%, the biggest one-day increase since late October.

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