Aug 3, 2012 7:06 PM
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are finishing sharply higher on Wall Street, breaking a four-day losing streak, after the government reported a big pickup in hiring by U.S. employers in July.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 217 points at 13,096 on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26 points to 1,391. The Nasdaq surged 58 points, ending the day at 2,968.
Markets had been slumping all week after central banks in the U.S and Europe took no new action to shore up the economy, as many investors had hoped.
The Labor Department reported that employers added 163,000 jobs last month. That was far more than analysts were expecting.
Five stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average, 3.7 billion shares.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)