Stocks Rally on Economic Data; End Higher for the Week
2/1/2013 5:10:19 PM
Stocks rallied in trading today, with the Dow Jones crossing 14,000 mark, as some upbeat U.S. economic data lifted investors’ sentiment. All three major indexes finished higher for the week.
The Dow Jones ended the day 1.08% higher at 14,009.79, the S&P 500 ended the day 1.01% higher at 1,513.17, and the Nasdaq ended the day 1.18% higher at 3,179.10. For the week, the Dow Jones rose 0.82%, the S&P 500 rose 0.68%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.93%.
All sectors in the S&P 500 ended the day near session highs. Conglomerates led the gains in the S&P 500, ending the day 1.36% higher.
Stocks rose sharply as investors digested solid jobs report for the month of January. According to figures released by the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 157,000 in January. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 7.9%. The jobs data was more or less in-line with consensus forecast.
Earlier this week, data released by the Commerce Department showed that the U.S. economy contracted unexpectedly in the fourth quarter of 2012. The GDP data raised concerns over the state of the U.S. economy, however, the labor market data released today has eased some of the concerns and suggests that the economy remains on track for recovery. Investors’ sentiment was also lifted by construction spending data for the month of December and better than expected manufacturing data.
Among the major gainers in trading today were Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), which ended the day 2.63% higher at $775.60, Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), which ended the day 3.07% higher at $22.80, and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), which ended the day 3.45% higher at $11.71.
European markets ended mostly higher earlier today, with the EURO STOXX 50 Index gaining 0.26%. Asian markets ended on a mixed note overnight.