Updated from 12:35 p.m. EDT

Stocks on Wall Street rose Friday as most banks and other financials advanced following the results of the government's stress tests and the latest data on the labor market, while dour, were no worse than analysts had expected.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 164.80 points, or nearly 2%, to 8574.65, and the

S&P 500

was higher by 21.84 points, or 2.4%, at 929.23. The

Nasdaq

was better by 22.76 points, or 1.3%, at 1739.

For the week, the Dow rose 4.4%, and since it reached a 12-year low on March 9, the index has risen 31%.

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Among individual stocks,

financials

remained in focus, as has been the case all week. Most big banks posted gains, and the KBW Bank index surged 12.1%.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

was up 4.9% to $14.17,

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

added 5.5% to $4.02, and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

rose 10.5% to $38.94.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

tacked on 4.4% to $139.59, and

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

was up 3.9% to $28.20.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

gained 13.8% to $28.18.

Market watchers had only a few hours to mull the findings of the government's investigation of the capital needs of the

19 largest U.S. banks

before the Labor Department issued its monthly jobs report, one of the most important regular economic indicators.

According to the numbers, the nation shed

539,000 jobs in April

, a better result than forecast and the mildest decline since last October. On average, the estimate was for losses of at least 600,000.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to 8.9%, as expected. That was the worst result since September 1983. For February and March, payrolls were revised downward to show another 66,000 workers lost their jobs.

Though grim, the data suggest that the darkest days of the recession, which began in December 2007, could be over. However, they also signal that the economy has a long way to go before a victory can be declared.

As for the stress tests, the government said Thursday that 10 of the 19 banks that were examined will need a total of roughly $75 billion in order to ensure they have adequate capital if the economy's situation becomes even more dire. Some of those judged to need capital, including

Morgan

,

Citigroup

and

Wells Fargo

, have already detailed plans to secure the funds.

Most markets overseas were on the plus side. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei added 0.5% to 9433, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1% to 17,390. Turning to Europe, London's FTSE gained 1.4%, the Frankfurt Dax rose 2.3%, and the Paris Cac was up 1.9%.

Treasury prices were climbing. The 10-year note was up 13/32 in price, pushing the yield down to 3.29%, and the 30-year bond was up 14/32, lowering the yield to 4.27%.