Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dow tops 17,000 for first time after government says hiring picked up speed last month

Specialist Charles Solomon works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The Dow Jones industrial average topped 17,000 for the first time Thursday, the index's first big 1,000-point milestone this year, following news that hiring in the U.S. accelerated last month. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Enlarge Image

Specialist Charles Solomon works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The Dow Jones industrial average topped 17,000 for the first time Thursday, the index's first big 1,000-point milestone this year, following news that hiring in the U.S. accelerated last month. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Dow Jones industrial average topped 17,000 for the first time Thursday, the index's first big 1,000-point milestone this year, following news that hiring in the U.S. accelerated last month.

The market rose from the start of trading after the government reported that U.S. employers hired more employees than investors and economists expected. Trading was extremely light, though, and the market closed early ahead of the Fourth of July holiday Friday.

Thursday's gains add to what has been a strong month-and-a-half for Wall Street. Along with the Dow hitting 17,000, the Standard & Poor's 500 index is approaching its own milestone of 2,000. The indexes have risen as a steady stream of good news on jobs and manufacturing bolsters investor confidence.

"Right now the story is onward and upward," said Neil Massa, senior trader at John Hancock Asset Management.

The Dow rose 92.02 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 17,068.26. The S&P 500 rose 10.82 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,985.44 and the Nasdaq composite rose 28.19 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4,485.93.

Investors were encouraged by the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor, which showed U.S. employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls in June, far more than forecast. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 per cent. The government also said employers hired more people in previous months than reported earlier: 217,000 in May and 304,000 in April. The U.S. economy is now creating around 231,000 jobs each month in 2014, compared to roughly 194,000 a month last year.

"It topped even some of the most optimistic of forecasts," Massa said.

The jobs report is the latest piece of data to show the U.S. economy continues to steadily improve. On Wednesday, the payroll processor ADP said private businesses added 281,000 jobs in June, up from 179,000 in May. Also this week the Institute for Supply Management said the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded for the 13th consecutive month.

While the Dow's passing of 17,000 is a notable milestone, most Wall Street professionals don't focus on it. The vast majority of mutual funds and investors use the broader S&P 500 index as their benchmark for how they are performing. In fact, the Dow has lagged behind the rest of the stock market this year. The index is up 3 per cent in 2014 compared with the S&P 500's rise of 7.4 per cent.

"That said, investors should be feeling good about Dow 17,000," Scott Wren, a senior equity strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors, wrote in a note to investors. "The stock market has more than recovered from levels seen during the financial crisis more than five years ago. Slow and steady can win the race; and it has."

The Dow's 17,000 milestone is another reminder of its bull market run. The index has climbed more than 10,500 points since its Great Recession low of 6,547.05 on March 9, 2009.

Among individual stocks, the pet supply chain PetSmart rose the most in the S&P 500 on Thursday. PetSmart gained $7.48, or 13 per cent, to $67.28 after the activist investor firm Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 per cent stake in the company.

Investors sold bonds after the strong jobs report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.64 per cent from 2.63 per cent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall.

Thursday was the slowest trading day of the year for stocks. Roughly 1.9 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Fourth of July holiday. U.S. stock trading will reopen Monday.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media