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September 6, 2012

Stocks soar on ECB, job news

by Rylan Stewart

[UPDATE: Friday's non-farm payroll jobs report came in much lower than expected, with payrolls adding just 96,000 jobs in August. The rate of unemployment fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent as workers exited the workforce. Markets finished the week strong due to optimism about the European debt situation].

The S&P 500 hit its highest level since 2008 and the Dow rose well over 200 points upon a run of good employment news.

The ADP employment report expects private payrolls to have added 201,000 jobs in August, which came in well above expectations. Given the US population and growth of its labor force, it needs to add between 200,000 and 250,000 jobs per month for the unemployment rate to fall on a consistent basis.

After a brief period of reaching this benchmark at the tale end of 2011, job growth has hovered in the mid-100,000 range for much of 2012.

Jobless claims fell 12,000 last week to 365,000 according to the Labor Department. Employers planned to cut 32,239 jobs in August, which is 12.5 percent lower than the previous month.

Stocks also responded positively to European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s announcement of a new bond buying program to stabilize the European government debt market.

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