* S&P 500 index hits record high, breaks above 1,600
* U.S. job market shows surprising strength - non-farm
* U.S. factory orders fall sharply in March
* Indexes up: Dow 1.2 pct, S&P 1.3 pct, Nasdaq 1.4 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Friday,
with the S&P 500 and Dow industrials hitting intraday record
highs after U.S. employment rose more-than-expected in April,
easing concerns about weak economic growth.
The S&P 500 index broke above 1,600 and the Dow traded above
15,000 for the first time as stocks extended this year's rally.
Non-farm payrolls rose 165,000 last month and the
unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, a four-year low, from 7.6
percent, the Labor Department said. In addition, hiring was much
stronger than previously thought in the prior two
Investors welcomed the gains after weeks of disappointing
data, including weak manufacturing reports, that suggested the
economic recovery was losing steam.
"This is the type of data that people then begin to look
through some of the noise that is in the ISM data, or the PMI
data," said Darrell Cronk, regional chief investment officer for
Wells Fargo Private Bank in New York.
"When the labor markets are firming up, they feel better
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 174.63 points
or 1.18 percent, to 15,006.21, the S&P 500 gained 20.65
points or 1.29 percent, to 1,618.24 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 46.39 points or 1.39 percent, to 3,387.01.
In other economic reports on Friday, U.S. factory orders
fell sharply in March while the pace of growth in the vast U.S.
services sector eased in April to the slowest pace in nine
Mining stocks were among top gainers, including Freeport
McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, up 3.4 percent at $31.36
after prices of copper posted the biggest daily gain in almost
LinkedIn Corp shares fell nearly 9 percent to
$184.46 a day after the social network reported disappointing
Wall Street was on track to end the week about 2 percent
higher. On Thursday, Wall Street rallied after data showing U.S.
weekly jobless claims dropped to a five-year low. Also helping
was the European Central Bank's decision to cut to its benchmark
interest rate to spur growth in the euro zone's economy.