Stocks rose Friday after the February jobs report bolstered hopes that the economic recovery is on track.
Three years after stocks hit their Great Recession low, the Dow Jones industrial average rose enough to erase this week’s losses, which include Tuesday’s 203-point dive, the worst one-day drop so far this year.
Employers added 227,000 jobs last month, finishing three of the best months for hiring since the recession began, the government said before the market opened. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent as workers streamed into the labor force.
The hiring was spread across a range of industries, including manufacturing, mining and professional services such as accounting.
Greece said earlier Friday that most of its private creditors had agreed to swap their bonds for new ones worth far less. The deal clears the way for a fresh bailout from Greece’s neighbors. Fears of a Greek default have weighed on the market for two years.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,953 at noon Eastern time. The Standard Poor’s 500 index rose 8, or 0.6 percent, to 1,373. All ten of its industry groups rose.
The Nasdaq composite average added 22 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,992.
The Dow has nearly doubled in the three years since its post-financial crisis bottom. On March 9, 2009, it closed at 6,547. The SP 500 closed at 676, also a recession-era low.
“There’s a lot less imbalance and a lot less uncertainty than there was three years ago,” said John Canally, investment strategist with LPL Financial Corp. Canally said the odds of another recession have been dropping as the economic recovery strengthens and becomes less vulnerable to shocks.
Yet Canally warned investors against assuming that the market’s current breakneck rally will continue. Canally said his firm recently started slowing down its stock purchases because of the market’s steep rally this year. The SP 500 has surged 9 percent so far this year.
European stocks added to their gains after the U.S. market opened. France’s benchmark indexes closed 0.3 percent higher, Britain’s 0.5 percent higher and Germany’s 0.7 percent higher.
Also Friday, the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit surged in January to the widest imbalance in more than three years as imports hit an all-time high, reflecting rising demand for foreign-made cars, computers and food products.
Exports to Europe fell, raising concerns that economic contraction across most of the continent will hurt U.S. corporate profits.
The dollar rose and Treasury prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.05 percent from 2.02 percent shortly before the jobs report came out.
Among stocks making big moves on Friday:
– Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. plunged 16 percent after its larger rival, Starbucks Corp., said it will start selling single-cup coffee machines. That could deflate demand for Green Mountain’s Keurig machines. Starbucks rose 2 percent.
– Texas Instruments fell 1 percent after the chipmaker lowered its forecast for revenue and earnings in the first quarter, blaming weaker demand for wireless products.
– Smith Wesson Holding Corp. leaped 19 percent after the maker of guns and security systems beat analysts’ expectations for third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year guidance.
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