Solid Gains On Wall Street Friday

Wall Street has shaken off its initial gloom from the worst monthly employment report in 34 years and closed the day with a solid gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished with a gain of 259 points at 8,635, but down 193 points on the week. Advancing issues on the New York Stock Exchange led losers better than 2-1 on volume of 5.8 billion shares. The Nasdaq composite index was up 63 points at 1,509, a loss of 26 points for the week. Roughly 2.1 billion shares traded on the tech-heavy exchange. And the S&P 500 added nearly 31 points, closing at 876. That's down 20 points for the week.

The day started out on a somber note following news that employers cut 533,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate to a 15-year-high 6.7 percent. At one point, the Dow industrials were down more than 200 points.

By afternoon, investor sentiment had changed, apparently on the theory that the jobs numbers could make the government more likely to supply more aid for the economy. Traders also appeared relieved by the market's relatively cool reaction to the data.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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