Dow tops 17,000 after strong payrolls data
NEW YORK - The Dow industrials broke above the 17,000 milestone on Thursday and the S&P 500 came within 1 percent of piercing through 2,000 after the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest in almost six years and the American economy created many more jobs than forecast.
The U.S. economy created 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
The data confirmed expectations that the economy bounced back in the second quarter after a dismal start to the year, and will likely spark talk about the need for the Federal Reserve to normalize monetary policy sooner rather than later.
With the Dow at 17,000, Main Street is expected to take a closer look at stocks.
"It may give people pause to think what could go wrong. I wouldn't be anything more than vigilant," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York.
"This market is driven by fundamentals; 17,000 is a psychological thing, probably not much more."
The Dow is however underperforming other major indexes so far this year. Blue chips are up 2.8 percent year to date, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have gained more than 7 percent each.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.19 points or 0.41 percent, to 17,045.43, the S&P 500 gained 6.12 points or 0.31 percent, to 1,980.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.81 points or 0.26 percent, to 4,469.55.
The closing bell will ring at 1 p.m. EDT and U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.
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