Burst of hiring last month sends US stock prices higher; Dow flirts with 18,000 level

NEW YORK, N.Y. – U.S. stocks are moving higher in midday trading after the government reported a surge in hiring last month.

Employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest burst of job creation in almost three years and far more than economists were expecting.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 17,982 as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time Friday. If the Dow closes above 18,000 it would mark the second 1,000-point milestone for the index this year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose six points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,078.

Financial stocks rose the most of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 index.

Crude oil lost $1.04 to $65.77 a barrel.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.32 per cent.