- The Washington Times - Friday, May 3, 2013

Wall Street rocketed into record territory Friday after the government released its latest jobs report, with the Dow Jones index of 30 top stocks cracking the 15,000 mark for the first time in history. Stocks retreated later in the day, but still posted a record closing price of 14,973.96, up 142.38 points or 0.96 percent.

The broader S&P 500 index also set a new record, going about 1,600 for the first time as well and staying there with a closing price of 1,614.42, up nearly 17 points or 1.05 percent.

The Dow passed the milestone just before 10:30 a.m., barely two hours after the Labor Department announced that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in April. Also boosting investors’ spirits was the news that the government had revised substantially upward the job-creation numbers previously released for February and March.

The Dow index passed the 14,000 market six years ago.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was up 38.01 points to 3,378.63. That’s not a record, but is the highest level for the Nasdaq in more than 12 years.

The Labor Department reported that U.S. unemployment fell to 7.5 percent, helping to fuel the rally. While government jobs shrank by 11,000 during April, the private sector added some 186,000 new positions — providing close to the average number of jobs created each month in the past year. The jobs number also outpaced the expectations of economists and analysts.

The bulls were also dominant on a number of foreign stock markets as well. Britain’s FTSE 100 index closed up nearly 1 percent to 6,521.46. Germany’s DAX 30 index ended up 2 percent to 8,122.29, and France’s CAC 40 index was up 1.4 percent to 3,912.95.

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