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TheStreet Open House

Dow Breaks 15,000 as Job Gains Power Stocks, S&P Hits New Highs

Stocks in this article: ^DJI^GSPC^IXICKRFTGILDWPXAMD

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday broke past 15,000, a record intra-day high, as job growth in April eased concern that the world's largest economy was unable to translate corporate profits into lower unemployment.

The Dow gained 1% to close at 14,975.19 after reaching as high as 15,009.59 intraday while the S&P 500 added 1.1% to 1,614.41 after touching its own intraday high of 1,618.49, shattering 1,600 for the first time.

"Dow 15,000 was one of those mythical benchmarks that very few thought was achievable - like Dow 10,000, or breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, or running a mile in under four minutes," said Keith Bliss, Senior Vice President at Cuttone in New York. "And the publication of the 'Goldilocks' jobs number gave the market the fuel to get above that level."

The April non-farm payrolls report showed job creation below 200,000 but high enough to beat expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 7.5% from 7.6%, its lowest since December 2008. Investors embraced the jobs numbers and appeared to minimize worse-than-expected reports on factory orders and the services sector.

" Dow 15000 sets the stage for a stronger market outlook by year end," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. "In fact, the broader market gains measured by the S&P 500 signals the Bull charge negates the sell in May and go away theme!"

The Nasdaq gained 1.1% to 3,378.63.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 165,000 nonfarm jobs were added in April, up from an upwardly revised increase of 138,000. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for an addition of 145,000 jobs last month with the unemployment rate remaining at 7.6%.

In other economic news, the Institute for Supply Management reported that the non-manufacturing index softened to 53.1 in April from 54.4 in March. Economists were expecting a dip to 54. The Census Bureau said that factory orders fell 4% in March after rising 3% in February. Economists had predicted a fall of 2.6%.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) jumped 5.6% to $3.60 after rival Intel (INTC) selected insider Brian Krzanich as CEO, frustrating many investors who were pushing for the appointment of an outsider who would unleash aggressive strategies to facilitate an increase in Intel's competitiveness in the mobile space.

WPX Energy (WPX) was another huge gainer, adding 5.1% to $16.57 as the economically-sensitive energy sector led the broader markets higher on the positive jobs report.

Oil futures for June delivery were rising $1.74 to $95.73 a barrel. June gold contracts were down $2.30 to $1,465.30 an ounce.

Gilead Sciences ( GILD ) was also riding higher on Friday's market optimism despite having missed first-quarter earnings and revenue expectations. The company posted earnings of 48 cents a share, disappointing expectations by two cents as a decline in revenue from older HIV drugs overshadowed stronger sales of newer products. Shares surged 5.7% to $55.15.

Kraft Foods' (KRFT) first-quarter earnings topped Wall Street expectations. The company earned $456 million, or 76 cents a share, down from $483 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 2% to $4.55 billion. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 63 cents a share on revenue of $4.49 billion. Shares rose 5.1% to $53.11.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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