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Overnight Markets: Dow Jones surpasses 17,000 on jobs report

Overnight Markets: Dow Jones surpasses 17,000 on jobs report

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged above 17,000 for the first time after the June jobs report came in much stronger than expected and the European Central Bank disclosed details of its stimulus plans.

The Dow Jones rose 92 points or 0.54%, to 17,068. The S&P 500 gained 11 points or 0.55%, to 1,985. The Nasdaq Composite added 28 points or 0.63%, to 4,486.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 ended at their third consecutive record highs. The Nasdaq closed at its highest since 2000 and rose for a third straight week. For the holiday shortened week, the Dow rose 1.3%, the S&P 500 advanced 1.25% and the Nasdaq climbed 2%.

In economic news, the US economy added 288,000 jobs in June, racing past the 212,000 that economists had expected. The US unemployment rate fell to 6.1%, the lowest since September 2008, confirming expectations that the economy bounced back in the second quarter after a dismal start to the year.

In Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated yesterday that he’ll keep interest rates low as officials try to revive the region’s economy with a new round of emergency measures.

Thursday's gains were broad. However, utilities struggled as the June jobs data suggested that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates earlier than had previously been anticipated.

Caterpillar (CAT.N), up 1.4%, helped propel the Dow in its run above 17,000. Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) also ranked among the Dow's best performers in Thursday's short session, rising 1.5% after Susquehanna raised its target price on the stock to $193 from $188.

PetSmart Inc (PETM.O) was the S&P 500's biggest gainer, jumping 12.5% after activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC said it planned to ask the company to explore a sale and reported a 9.9% stake in the retailer.

On the negative side, Regado Biosciences (RGDO.O) plummeted 58.4% after the Data Safety Monitoring Board started an unplanned review of data from a trial of its heart drug.

In Asia, shares gained on Friday in morning trade after US unemployment slid to the lowest level since before the peak of the financial crisis.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3% to 148 as of 10:48 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.5% as the yen held losses from the past three days. South Korea’s Kospi index and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index both gained 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.6%.

Taiwan’s Taiex index slipped 0.4% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.2%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city advanced 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2%.

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