Stocks End Up, Facebook Closes Above IPO Price

Stocks closed modestly higher on Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 both setting new record highs, after the July jobs report curbed thinking that the Federal Reserve would curb its asset purchases. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30.34 points or 0.19 percent, to 15,658.36, the S&P 500 gained 2.80 points or 0.16 percent, to 1,709.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.85 points or 0.38 percent, to 3,689.59.

July’s drop in the unemployment rate takes the nation closer to a 7 percent threshold outlined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as the point around which the central bank would likely end bond purchases, a top Fed official said on Friday.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares rose 56 cents to end Friday at $38.05 and close above their IPO price of $38 a share for the first time in almost 15 months.

Congress recessed Friday for the month of August but supporters and opponents promise to make Obamacare an issue during the legislative break. The group Tea Party Nation is urging its members to push for repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act in congressional districts.

Gold prices clawed back from intraday lows under $1,300 an ounce. Gold for December delivery (CNS:GCZ3) settled at $1,310.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 70 cents, or less than 0.1%, for the session.

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