Stocks Soar to New Records Following Employment Data
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U.S. stocks were climbing to new heights in midday trading Friday as investors were cheering jobs data that led most economists to say inflation remains in check.
At 11:45 a.m. Eastern, internet.com's Internet Stock Index had jumped 25.68, or 3.55 percent, to 749.99, the Nasdaq Composite had climbed 94.42 to 3,547.20 -- putting it on pace to set its 18th record in the last 25 sessions -- and the Dow Jones industrial average had soared 252.23 to 11,292.29. The Dow is just shy of a the record 11,326.04.
Prompting the boost were the latest numbers from the Labor Department which reported Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent in November and the economy added 234,000 jobs last month. The job additions came in below economists' forecasts of 263,000. Hourly wages, which is one of the most widely-watched inflation gauges, climbed only 2 cents to $13.41 an hour.
Leaders gaining ground included America Online Inc. (AOL) up 1-1/2 to 81-1/2, Ariba Inc. (ARBA) jumping 8-1/16 to 208-3/8, Broadvision Inc. (BVSN) climbing 9-3/8 to 109-3/8, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) up 4-13/16 to 160-15/16, eBay Inc. (EBAY) jumping 9-1/8 to 176-3/16, Network Solutions (NSOL) soaring 19-1/16 to 184-1/16 and Verisign Inc. (VRSN) up 12-11/16 to 207-1/2.
FreeShop.com Inc. (FSHP) had rocketed 9-1/8 to 22. The Internet direct marketer said Friday it received more than 1 million orders in November. The total for the month was more than double the number of orders in recent months.
American depositary receipts of QXL.com PLC (QXLC) had rocketed 14-3/4 to 53 after the U.K.-based online auctioneer signed a deal with Excite@Home (ATHM) to offer auctions through Excite's European portals.
Ask Jeeves Inc. (ASKJ) was up 2-1/2 to 136. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which lead Ask Jeeves' IPO, said Friday it will release about 1.5 million shares from lock-up restrictions. The shares, which represent about 5 percent of Ask Jeeves outstanding stock, will be released Dec. 7.
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) had climbed 6-7/8 to 252-11/16. The search engine Friday teamed with Singapore's StarHub Pte. to launch a Web site catering to Singapore residents. Also, StarHub unveiled plans for free Internet access and will launch the service Saturday.