The US stock exchange topped 14,000 Friday for the first time since 2007, closing at 14,009.79, signalling it had become a Bull Market.
The news comes despite what had been reported as gloomy events, possibly even signaling a new recession.
“The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 129 points, or 0.9 percent, to 13,989 in midmorning trading, off an earlier high of 14001. The blue chip benchmark hasn't closed above that level since 2007,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Financial Times said: “A Relatively strong US jobs report, evidence of moderate manufacturing growth in China and US jobs report , evidence of manufacturing growth in China and moderate factory activity in Europe are boosting confidence about the global economy and Delivering a positive start to the month for major risk asset Barometers.”
The Los Angeles Times agreed: “Stocks have been rallying this year following Washington's compromise on the so-called fiscal cliff, and investors have plowed back into stocks as the economy has continued to improve and the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at historic lows.”
Yet the news had been negative all week.
The unemployment rate was stuck at about 7.9 percent. New jobs totaled 157,000, down from the revised December figure of 196,000. The New York Times said the revision meant 335,000 jobs were created than originally estimated during the 12 months of 2012. Still, economic forecasters had hoped the new job total would reach 165,000.
In other bad news, the US economy shrunk by 0.1 percent in the final quarter of the year, the first such decline since 2009.
Growth was also affected by Hurricane Sandy, though it may have created some construction jobs. President Obama said the slowing of growth could be partly attributed to Republicans threaten to go over the fiscal cliff.
The GOP may have sensed that Obama has some momentum. It appears fears of a debt over lifting the debt ceiling appeared to end with the House approving an extension until May for the ceiling to be raised.
On the positive side, jobs traditionally decline during the winter, and some areas have had unusually cold weather. Housing starts are up.
Gasoline prices are down substantially, going under $3 a gallon in some areas. US energy production is up, and now exceeds foreign imports, though it is partly a result of the controversial fracking practice. Rising sales in the auto industry, given up for dead by many Republicans, were helping also.
“Just as Congress allowed the 2011-12 payroll tax cut to expire, new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that such tax breaks may significantly boost consumer spending. As a result, raising workers’ take-home pay this way might play a bigger role than many thought in reversing economic slumps,” the Christian Science Monitor reported.