You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

Dow hits record high on jobs news

NEW YORK — A big gain in the job market is pushing the stock market past new milestones.

The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 15,000 for the first time early Friday, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 index, a broader market measure, broke through 1,600 for the first time.

Continue reading below

The Dow was up 148 points to 14,979, an increase of 1 percent, as of 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The S&P 500 index surged 17 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,615.

The government said U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April and more jobs in February and March than previously estimated. The unemployment rate also fell to the lowest level in four years, 7.5 percent.

The surge in U.S. hiring comes after weeks of conflicting signals about the strength of the global economy. The unexpectedly strong numbers jolted markets higher from the start of trading.

‘‘There’s euphoria today,’’ said Stephen Carl, the head equity trader at The Williams Capital Group. ‘‘That’s what you'd have to call it.’’

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, brokers sported baseball caps emblazoned with ‘‘Dow 15,000.’’

The gains were broad. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 index rose. Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the NYSE.

Companies that stand to benefit most from an upturn in the economy led the stock market up. Industrial companies, those that make basic materials, and produce oil and gas rose the most in the S&P 500 index. U.S. Steel, General Electric and Dow Chemical were among the winners. Utilities, consumer-staple companies and other safe-play stocks trailed the market as investors took on more risk.

Small-company stocks are more risky than bigger companies but can also offer investors greater returns. On Friday, they rose at nearly double the pace of the broader market. The Russell 2000 was up 1.7 percent in afternoon trading.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 41 points to 3,381, an increase of 1.2 percent.

‘‘We’re breaking through psychological barriers and that will continue to bring investors off the sidelines,’’ said Darrell Cronk, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. He called the jobs news ‘‘wonderful.’’

For more than a month, investors have had to wrestle with worrying reports on the world economy. First came news of falling retail sales in March, then a series of weak manufacturing reports and signs of an economic slowdown in China.

The first-quarter earnings season has been mixed, too. Though earnings have been higher than expected, many companies have reported little or no revenue growth, which has spooked investors.

Investors have also been concerned that higher Social Security payroll taxes and sweeping government spending cuts that took effect earlier this year will slow U.S. economic growth, and pinch corporate profits.

Friday’s jobs numbers suggested the private sector might be strong enough to overcome those various obstacles.

In its report, the government revised its previous estimate of job gains up to 332,000 in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.

Stock overseas rose on U.S. jobs report, too. The main indexes in France, Germany, Spain and Brazil rose 1 percent or more.

The S&P 500 is up 13 percent from the start of the year. The Dow is up 14 percent.

When the jobs numbers were announced at 8:30 a.m., stock-market futures surged and the price of crude oil quickly jumped as traders anticipated a pickup in the economy and rising demand for energy. Oil rose $1.85 to $95.84 a barrel.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped from its lowest level of the year, as traders moved money out of the safety of government bonds. The yield rose to 1.74 percent from 1.63 percent late Thursday.

Among other stocks making big moves on Friday:

— Gilead Sciences jumped $3.18 to $53.57, a gain of 6 percent, one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500 index. The maker of HIV drugs reported a 63 percent surge in income in the first quarter thanks to lower costs and increased sales.

— Kraft Foods rose $3.05 to $53.58, an increase of 6 percent. The food maker reported first-quarter income and revenue that beat the forecasts of Wall Street analysts as it increased sales and cut costs following its split from its global snack business.

— LinkedIn, the professional networking social media site, sank 11 percent, losing $21.60, to $180.06. The company issued a revenue forecast for the rest of the year that was well below what financial analysts were expecting. LinkedIn went public in May 2011 at $45 a share.

Business Writer Matthew Craft contributed to this story.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week