Dow opens higher, heads toward 27,000 after hotter-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock benchmarks on Friday rose solidly at the open after a better-than-expected jobs report and continued optimism on U.S.-China tariffs discussions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.21% gained 80 points, or 0.3%, at 26,454, not far from a psychological milestone at 27,000. The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.30% gained nearly 8 points, or 0.2%, to 2,887, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.38% climbed 0.3% to reach 7,916. For the week, the Dow is on pace for a gain of 1.8%, the S&P 500 is on track for a weekly advance of 1.6%, while the Nasdaq has gained 2.1% thus far this week, as of Thursday’s close. All three benchmarks are near all-time highs. The pace of hiring sped up in March as the U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs and the unemployment rate held at 3.8%, rebounding from a paltry gain in February that was raised to 33,000. The increase in new jobs beat the 172,000 MarketWatch forecast, with unemployment rate unchanged at 3.8%. Meanwhile, the U.S.-China trade negotiations are progressing apace but President Donald Trump hasn’t yet set a date to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, which would be read as signalinh that a tariff agreement was near completion.

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