Stocks gain for sixth day
A burst of hiring in February pushed stocks higher on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 67.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 14,397.07. The index surpassed its previous record close Tuesday and logged a sixth-straight increase Friday.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 6.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,551.18. The Nasdaq composite advanced 12.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,244.37.
U.S. employers added 236,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January, the Labor Department reported. That’s far better than the 156,000 job gains and unemployment rate of 7.8 percent that economists surveyed by FactSet expected.
The strong job growth shows that employers are confident about the economy despite higher taxes and government spending cuts.
Optimism that hiring is picking up has been one of the factors bolstering the stock market this year.
From wire reports
Selected local stocks
Aqua America, .70, 29.87 .22
Clear Channel, .33 32.60 .57
Cortland Bancorp, 11.00.00
Farmers Nat., .126.67 .05
First Energy, 2.20, 40.90.14
FirstMerit Corp., .64,15.45 .03
First Niles Financial, .32,7.18.00
First Place Fin., .0042.00
FNB Corp., .48,11.62—.02
General Electric, .76,23.77.09
Motors Liquidation, .0422.00
Huntington Bank, .16, 7.36.02
JP Morgan Chase, 1.20,50.20—.43
Key Corp, .20,9.85—.07
LaFarge, 17.80 .10
Macy’s, .80, 41.67.44
Parker Hannifin, 1.72, 97.93.69
RTI Intl. Metals,32.01.62
Simon Prop. Grp.,4.60,160.00—.08
Stoneridge 7.35 —.04
United Community Fin. 3.58.06
Selected prices at 4 p.m. Friday. Provided by Stifel Nicolaus. Not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security.