Due to the unemployment rate dropping to its lowest level in three years, on Friday the Dow Jones reached its highest close since May 2008. The Dow leaped 156.82 points to 12, 862.23. Four months after Dow’s peak in May 2008, the Lehman Brothers investment bank collapsed and Bear Stears had already collapsed. An 11-year high was reached by the Nasdaq composite index.
The Labor Department reported that the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, which was the strongest job growth in nine months. The increased employment caused the unemployment rate to drop to 8.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since February 2009. Equity portfolio manager, at Federated Investors, Lawrence Creatura said, “In this economy, only one variable matters right now, and that variable is employment. This report was great news. It was beyond all expectations, literally. The number was higher than even the highest forecast.” Since December 2000, the Nasdaq index closed at its highest with 45.98 points higher at 2,905.66.