* Dow closes above 14,000 for first time since October 2007
* More than 600 stocks on NYSE, Nasdaq combined hit 52-week
* Google shares hit an all-time high of $776.60
* Indexes up: Dow 1.1 pct; S&P 1 pct; Nasdaq 1.2 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Feb 1 U.S. stocks rose to five-year
highs on Friday, with the Dow closing above 14,000 for the first
time since October 2007, after jobs and manufacturing data
showed the economy's recovery remains on track.
The S&P touched its highest since December 2007 after a 5
percent gain in January, which was its best start to a year
since 1997. The index is now just about 60 points away from its
all-time intraday high of 1,576.09.
Employment grew modestly in January, with 157,000 jobs
added. That was slightly below expectations, but Labor
Department revisions showed 127,000 more jobs were created in
November and December than previously reported.
Analysts attributed the market's robust showing so far this
year partly to a deluge of cash flowing into equities.
Investors poured $12.7 billion into U.S.-based stock mutual
funds and exchange-traded funds in the latest week, concluding
the strongest four-week flows into stock funds since 1996, data
showed on Thursday.
"There is a lot of money looking for a home, and people are
finally deciding the bond market is done and moving money into
equities," said Edward Simmons, managing director and partner at
HighTower in Portland, Maine.
"I see the rotation (of assets) pushing the market up in the
face of not-massive amounts of good news," he said. "People are
overlooking the higher risk in equities."
Other reports released Friday showed the pace of growth in
the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in January to its
highest level in nine months, U.S. consumer sentiment rose more
than expected last month, while December construction spending
also beat forecasts.
"All the data seems to keep pointing to a slowly, steadily
improving economy," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at
North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 149.21
points, or 1.08 percent, at 14,009.79. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 15.06 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1,513.17.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 36.97 points, or 1.18
percent, at 3,179.10.
With the day's gains, major equity indexes rose five
More than 600 stocks on the NYSE and the Nasdaq combined hit
52-week highs on Friday, including Google which rose
as high as $776.60, before closing at $775.60, up 2.6 percent.
Investors were also attuned to corporate earnings, with a
trio of Dow components reporting profits that beat expectations.
Exxon Mobil ended flat at $90.04 after reporting
results while Chevron added 1.2 percent to $116.50.
Drugmaker Merck & Co fell 3.3 percent to $41.83
after a cautious 2013 outlook.
Generic drugmaker Perrigo reported a
better-than-expected second-quarter profit and its shares jumped
4.7 percent to $105.28.
Of the 252 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings so far, 69 percent have exceeded expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters data. That is a higher proportion
than over the past four quarters and above average since 1994.
Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to
have grown 4.4 percent, according to the data, up from a 1.9
percent forecast at the start of the earnings season but well
below a 9.9 percent profit growth forecast on Oct. 1.
Dell Inc gained 2.9 percent to $13.63 after sources
said the company was nearing an agreement to sell itself to a
buyout consortium led by its founder, Michael Dell, and private
equity firm Silver Lake Partners.