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Jobs report propels US stocks to record highs

Traders work on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange on March 5, 2013
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 5, 2013. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 15,000 for the first time Friday following a solid US jobs report.

Leading US stock indices muscled their way to dramatic new all-time highs Friday after the Labor Department reported solid jobs gains for April and a slight decline in the unemployment rate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ruptured 15,000 for the first time before retreating slightly.

At 1528 GMT, the blue-chip Dow was at 14,985.18, up 153.60 (1.04 percent).

The S&P 500 also passed a key new threshold, bursting past 1,600 for the first time to reach 1,616.33, up 18.74 (1.17 percent).

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 42.63 (1.28 percent) at 3,383.25.

The US economy added 165,000 jobs in April, better than analysts expected, and upward revisions for the prior two months showed 114,000 more jobs were added than initially estimated.

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent in March.

"Following a stronger-than-forecasted April US nonfarm payroll report, which included solid upward revisions to the prior months' figures, domestic stocks are moving nicely higher," Charles Schwab & Co. said in a market note.

There were outsized gains from several blue-chip companies, including Alcoa (up 2.8 percent), Caterpillar (up 3.1 percent), General Electric (up 1.8 percent) and 3M (up 2.0 percent).

Insurer AIG gained 5.3 percent after reporting earnings of $1.34 per share, well above the 87 cents projected by analysts.

Food giant Kraft jumped 5.5 percent after the company beat earnings expectations and said it was on track to "deliver every element of our 2013 financial guidance." The company saw strong consumption growth in its Kraft natural cheeses and Velveeta cheese brand.

Online networking firm LinkedIn sank 9.7 percent despite reporting earnings that bested expectations. Wall Street was unhappy with its second-quarter revenue forecast of $342-$347 million, under the $359 million projected by analysts.

Bond prices tumbled. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.73 percent from 1.63 percent late Thursday, while the yield on the 30-year bond increased to 2.94 percent from 2.83 percent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

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