Stocks surge on Wall Street as hiring picks up; Dow crosses 15,000, S&P breaches 1,600

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The U.S. stock market is surging past new milestones after the government reported a big pickup in hiring.

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 15,000 for the first time Friday, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, a broader market measure, broke through 1,600.

The Dow gave up some of its gain and closed up 142 points at 14,973, an increase of 1 per cent.

The S&P 500 surged 16, or 1 per cent, to 1,614.

The driver was jobs. U.S. employers added 165,000 in April and more in February and March than previously estimated. The unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in four years, 7.5 per cent.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average, 3.6 billion shares.