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Dow has highest close since 2007

Oct. 06, 2012 @ 01:04 AM

NEW YORK -- A big drop in the unemployment rate wasn't enough for investors Friday. Stocks posted gains early in the day but faded to a mixed close.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate had declined to 7.8 percent, its first dip below 8 percent in nearly four years. The decline from 8.1 percent the month before was bigger than economists had expected.

Stocks rose on that news, but the gains didn't last. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 34.79 points to close at 13,610.15, after rising 86 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.47 points to 1,460.93, and the Nasdaq dropped 13.27 points to 3,136.19.

U.S. employers added 114,000 jobs last month. That was in line with what economists were expecting, but the government also revised its estimates higher for job growth in July and August.

Despite the mixed day, the Dow managed to reach a milestone: its highest close since December 2007. The S&P is close, but not quite back to, its December 2007 high. The Dow and S&P had their first positive weeks after two weeks of losses. The Dow rose 1.3 percent for the week, the S&P 1.4 percent.

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