Job Rise Helps Wall Street End Day, Week With Gains

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - A national increase in jobs during September sent all three major markets up Friday for the third day in a row and into positive territory for the week.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 84.51 points to reach 9,572.31, up 259.23 points over the past five days. The Nasdaq Composite index rose 44.41 points to 1,880.63, up 88.53 points since last Friday, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated 9.62 points to 1,029.86, up 33.01 points for the week.

On Friday morning, the Labor Department announced that non-farming payrolls jumped by 57,000 jobs in the past month, the first such increase since January. The statistics showed September unemployment holding steady at 6.1 percent, beating expectations that pegged job losses of some 15,000.

"New jobs are being created in professional and business services, construction and other skilled trades, motor vehicle and parts dealers, and healthcare and education," noted U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

"This was an exceptionally bullish report for the market," John Person, head financial analyst of Infinity Brokerage Services, told Fox News. "It confirms that there is a turn in the economic recovery. The trend is showing that jobs are building, which has been the big debate as to the sustainability for economic growth."

Also on Friday, the Supply Management Institute's index of the services sector dipped only slightly in September. The drop from 65.1 in August to 63.3 last month was less than economists' expectations and well above the benchmark level of 50 that indicates growth in this sector.

As a result, stocks surged significantly higher in morning trading before losing some ground during a late-afternoon dip. Leading the way was the tech-oriented Nasdaq, which gained 2.4 percent in Friday's session, compared to about 0.9 percent for the other markets.

Most overseas markets also ended the trading week with gains. The biggest increase was experienced by Germany's DAX index, which rose 4.9 percent. France's CAC-40 advanced 3.2 percent, Britain's FTSE 100 picked up 1.5 percent, and Japan's Nikkei average finished 1.1 percent higher.

See Related Story:
Payrolls Grow in September
(Oct. 3, 2003)

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