Stocks jumped Friday after a report said the U.S. job market surprisingly strengthened last month, bolstering hopes that the worst of the recession may have already passed. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 829 points, or 3.15%. The S&P 500 closed up 2.62%.
Economists cautioned that it’s just one month of data and that many risks still loom on the long road to a full recovery. But the report gives some credence to the optimism that’s been building among stock investors that the economy can climb out of its current hole faster than forecast. That hope has been a big reason for the S&P 500’s rally of more than 40% since late March.