* S&P 500 closes above 1,600, Dow briefly tops 15,000
* Payrolls report shows more jobs added in April than
* Gains are broad, but energy and materials lead advancers
* Indexes up: Dow 1 pct, S&P 1 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 advanced to
all-time closing highs on Friday, with major indexes jumping 1
percent after an unexpectedly strong April jobs report eased
concerns about an economic slowdown.
The S&P closed above 1,600 and the Dow briefly traded above
15,000 for the first time as stocks extended this year's rally.
Bellwether companies, including Chevron Corp, Boeing Co
and Johnson & Johnson, reached 52-week highs.
The Russell 2000 stock index of mid- and small cap
companies also hit a record, confirming the broadness of the
rally. About 70 percent of stocks on both the New York Stock
Exchange and the Nasdaq ended in positive territory.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 165,000 last month and the
unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, a four-year low, from 7.6
percent, the government said. In addition, hiring was much
stronger than previously thought in February and
Investors welcomed the gains after weeks of disappointing
data, including tepid manufacturing reports, that suggested the
economic recovery was losing steam.
"We were all wringing our hands over the past month but this
alleviates fears about a sharp spring slowdown," said Brad
Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis at Charles
Schwab in Denver.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 140.61
points, or 0.95 percent, at 14,972.19. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 16.63 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,614.22.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 38.01 points, or 1.14
percent, at 3,378.63.
Both the Dow and S&P ended at all-time closing highs. For
the week, the Dow rose 1.8, the S&P gained 2 percent and the
Nasdaq rose 3 percent in its biggest weekly climb since the
first week of the year.
Sectors tied to the pace of economic growth and to commodity
prices were among the strongest gainers. U.S. Steel Corp
rose 6.3 percent to $18.14 while WPX Energy Inc was up 5
percent to $16.56. U.S. crude oil futures rose 1.5
percent to settle at $95.43 a barrel.
"Commodity stocks are outperforming with the jobs number
alleviating fears over a slowdown," said Sorensen. "The group
has pulled back over the past months and they got a bit
overdone. There are still really good growth opportunities
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc closed up 2.6
percent at $31.13, after prices of copper posted the biggest
daily gain since late October 2011.
General Electric, up 1.1 percent at $22.57, led gains
among industrials after it won approval to buy oilfield pump
maker Lufkin Industries for about $3 billion. The deal
will allow GE to sharply increase its presence in the market to
extract oil and natural gas from shale.
Gilead Sciences shares rose 5.7 percent to $55.15
after reaching a record high of $56.35. The world's largest
maker of branded HIV drugs reported a big rise in quarterly
profit late on Thursday.
LinkedIn Corp shares fell 13 percent to $175.59 a
day after the social network reported disappointing revenue
Of the 404 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings so far, 68.3 percent have beaten earnings expectations,
but only 46.3 percent have reported revenue above expectations.
Over the past four quarters, 67 percent of companies beat on
earnings and 52 percent beat revenue estimates.
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
About 6.33 billion shares changing hands on the New York
Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average
so far this year of about 6.36 billion shares.