(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Investors in the U.S. made sure that February started with a bang and not a whimper. January is often a strong month and February is historically been ho hum.
Dow Jones: 14,009, 149.2, 1.0 percent
S&P 500: 1,513, 15.0, 1.0 percent
NASDAQ: 3,179, 36.9, 1.1 percent
Market commentators seem to take the same bits of economic news and come up with markedly different reads on the data.
The bulls saw positive trends in the labor market. With payrolls rising by 157,000 in January, but November's payroll gains were revised more than 50% higher, from 161,000, to 247,000.
Others saw the January jobs report not as exciting saying the economy adding "just 157,000 payrolls in January, which was less than expected."
"The unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped." Then came the contradiction. "However, the December Non Farm Payroll number was revised up by 41,000 and the November number was revised up by 86,000. If anything, the report was bullish."
Consumer confidence unexpectedly jumped to 73.8, beating expectations for 71.5. Gains were driven by the economic outlook sub-component of the index, which rose to 66.6 from 63.8 last month.
Markets continued to inch toward their all-time highs. The Dow closed at an all-time high of 14,164 on October 9, 2007. It hit an intra-day high of 14,198 on October 11, 2007.
The S&P 500 isn't too far from its all-time high of 1,565, which it also high on October 9, 2007.
So which ever way you slice it, it has been a slice of heaven for investors in the U.S. market.