Stocks up on jobs read
Major stock gauges inch higher after March employment report shows strong growth, little wage inflation.

NEW YORK ( - Stocks rose Friday morning as investors welcomed a March jobs report that showed strong growth in the labor market, but little wage inflation.

The Dow Jones industrial average (up 11.30 to 11,227.80, Charts), the broader Standard & Poor's 500 (up 3.69 to 1,312.73, Charts) index and the Nasdaq composite (up 12.74 to 2,373.91, Charts) all gained in the early going.


Employers added a greater-than-expected 211,000 jobs to their payrolls in March after adding a revised 225,000 in February. Economists surveyed by expected a number of 190,000.

The unemployment rate, generated by a separate survey, fell to 4.7 percent in March, from 4.8 percent in February. Economists thought it would hold steady at 4.8 percent.

Helping to stem concerns about wage inflation -- a key measure the Federal Reserve has said it is watching -- was the average hourly earnings component of the report. Earnings rose a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent after rising 0.3 percent in February. Economists thought it would rise 0.3 percent.

Gains were broad based, with 26 out of 30 Dow issues rising, led by Alcoa (up $0.37 to $32.53, Research), General Motors (up $0.15 to $19.70, Research) and Home Depot (unchanged at $42.14, Research).

Late Thursday, Starbucks (up $1.25 to $38.70, Research) reported a stronger-than-expected jump in March same-store sales, or sales at stores open a year or more. Shares gained around 3 percent.

Also late Thursday, Research in Motion (down $3.81 to $80.57, Research) issued current-quarter forecasts for earnings per share, revenue and subscriber growth that is short of estimates. The maker of the Blackberry wireless device also reported in-line earnings, but investors focused on the warning and shares fell Friday morning.

Inflationary worries sapped blue chip stocks Thursday, as investors worries about bond yields near 4-year highs, gold near a 25-year high and oil prices near $68 a barrel.

U.S. light crude oil for May delivery fell 73 cents to $67.21 a barrel in electronic trading.

Treasury prices fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up to around 4.93 percent from 4.89 percent late Wednesday, pushing to a new almost four-year high. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

COMEX gold for June delivery fell $6.70 to $593 an ounce, after hitting a 25-year high in the previous session.

In global trade, major Asian markets ended higher and European markets rose at midday.


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