US stocks : Dow up 1.1 pct
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
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