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Strong jobs report pushes Dow Jones average above 17,000

Dow surges past 17,000 on strong jobs report

The Dow Jones industrial average vaulted over 17,000 for the first time early Thursday, an emphatic punctuation mark to the impressive jobs report.

As of 9:45 a.m. Pacific, the blue-chip indicator was up 85.02 points, or 0.5%, to 17,061.26.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index also surged to a fresh high as it nears 2,000, which would be its own milestone.

Investors are hoping that the addition of 288,000 net new jobs last month signals a long-awaited strengthening of the economy.

As it has for the last several years, the economy has sent frustratingly mixed signals, repeatedly appearing to accelerate only to fall short of the 3% annual growth that investors have thirsted after.

Inclement weather caused an unexpected decline in first-quarter gross domestic product.

Bulls clung to the notion that the effects would be temporary, and the better-than-expected June jobs report has validated their faith at this point.

Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

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