Stocks surge to new highs after hiring climbs

May 3, 2013 - 3:35 PM
Wall Street

Specialists Devin Cryan, left, and Gabriel Freytes wear a "Dow 15,000" hats as they work at a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, May 3, 2013. A big gain in the job market is lifting the stock market to a record high. The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 15,000 for the first time, and the Standard and Poor's 500 index, a broader market measure, rose above 1,600.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market is surging past new milestones after the government reported a big pickup in hiring at U.S. employers.

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 15,000 for the first time Friday and the Standard and Poor's 500 index, a broader market measure, broke through 1,600.

The Dow gave up some of its gain and closed up 142 points at 14,973, an increase of 1 percent.

The S&P 500 surged 16, or 1 percent, to 1,614.

The driver was jobs. U.S. employers added 165,000 of them in April and more in February and March than previously estimated. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in four years, 7.5 percent.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average, 3.6 billion shares.