U.S. stocks rose on better than expected data on unemployment, with major indexes gaining more than 1 percent on Friday. The U.S. jobless rate hit a two-and-a-half year minimum on Friday, while positive news on progressing talks on debt crisis in Europe fueled further U.S. stock market gains.
The Nasdaq Composite Index grew by 1.24 percent, to 2,658.79, followed by Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which added 1.21 percent, and Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 1.01 percent. The unemployment rate decreased to its lowest level since March 2009, at 8.6 percent in November, according to a report by the U.S. Labor Department.
Financial stocks witnessed strongest gains, with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group growing by 9 percent and 7 percent respectively. Citigroup jumped 5.2 percent and J.P. Morgan Chase added 6.7 percent on Friday.
Following today’s positive market development all three major U.S. stock indexes are back in black for 2011.
Positive news on debt talks in Europe helped local markets to close higher, with France’s CAC-40 going up by 1.4 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 closing 1.1 percent higher.
Market analysts, however, question the ability of United States’ economy to sustain current employment growth, hinting that local private and public sectors would experience difficulties in creating new jobs at the same pace within the next few months.