US stocks soar on surprise July job figures
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are rising sharply on Wall Street after the government reported that employers stepped up hiring in July at the fastest pace in five months.
The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 205 points to 13,084 in the first half-hour of trading Friday. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 24 points to 1,389. The Nasdaq composite added 54 points to 2,964.
The Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. added 163,000 jobs last month, a turnaround following three months of sluggish hiring.
Between April and June, the economy added an average of just 75,000 jobs a month compared with 226,000 jobs per month in the first three months of the year.
The stock market is headed for its first gain after four days of losses.