Stock market climbs after unemployment claims fall
NEW YORK -- The stock market is all about jobs this week.
Stocks rose Thursday after unemployment claims fell to a five-year low. A day earlier it was just the opposite; the market slumped after companies added just 119,000 jobs in April, the fewest in seven months, according to payroll processor ADP. And stocks could swing again Friday when the government's closely watched monthly employment report is released.
"Everyone is looking to the April jobs numbers," said Tyler Vernon, chief investment officer at Biltmore Capital. "People are more confident that it was an anomaly last month and are looking for some bigger numbers."
Economists forecast that the employers added 160,000 jobs last month. Stocks slumped April 5 when the government said 88,000 jobs were added, less than half the number forecast.
Signs of increased hiring have supported this year's surge in stocks and pushed the market to record highs. The run-up has started to falter in recent weeks on concerns that the global economy is slowing. More jobs should boost consumer spending, a key driver of U.S. growth.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 130.63 points to 14,831.58 on Thursday, an increase of 0.9 percent. The index lost 138 points a day earlier. The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 14.89 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,597.59, also recovering almost all of its losses from a day earlier.
Applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 324,000, the fewest since January 2008, the Labor department reported before the market opened.
The outlook for global growth also got a boost after the European Central bank cuts its benchmark interest rate a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 percent.