Global stocks rise on strong U.S. jobs report

Already in record territory, Dow edges toward 18,000

Stock market indexes around the world rose decisively Friday on news of a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report, as investors bet that the American recovery would help buoy flagging economies overseas.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49.29 points, or 0.3%, to 17,949.39 in midsession trading, hitting a new record.

The broad-based Standard and Poor's 500 Index was up 3.05 points, or 0.2%, to 2,074.97, also a record, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 13.51 points, or 0.3%, to 4,782.94, climbing back toward levels not seen since the tech bubble crested in 2000.

Overseas markets reacted more emphatically. In Germany, where a slowing growth rate is seen as threatening the European economy as a whole, the DAX index rose 2.1%, or 106.89 points, to 5,175.16, while France's CAC 40, rose also 2.1%, or 89.84 points, to 4,413.73. The main Chinese and Japanese markets were also up.

John Lonski, chief capital markets economist for Moody's Analytics, said the largely unalloyed good news in November jobs report reinforced investors' belief that the economy could power through a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the middle of next year.

"No matter how you cut it, this is a pretty darned good report," Lonski said. "One of the implications ... is the market's belief that a rate hike is not about to endanger the economic recovery."

While the jobs report included an uptick in workers' hourly wages, the increase was not enough to trigger inflation concerns, Lonski said.

Meanwhile, the dollar's recent strengthening on foreign exchange markets, which would make imports less expensive for consumers, also tended to soothe fears that the Fed would need to tighten aggressively to rein in an economy that was growing too quickly.

Twitter: @deanstarkman


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