Stock up Friday on solid jobs report and news from Greece

Diane Alter – AHN News Reporter

NYC, NY, United States (AHN) – U.S. markets got a bounce from a slightly better than expected jobs report on Friday and positive news from Greece.

Just after the opening bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 3 points and the NASDAQ advanced 7 points.

The Labor Department reported Friday the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in February. While a solid and slightly better-than-expected number, it was down from January when employers added 243,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.3 percent.

Also giving investors something to be optimistic about was news from Greece that creditors agreed to a plan to restructure Greek bonds. More than 85 percent of private bondholders agreed to the deal, a move that staves off a messy default for the ailing country.

The agreement on private-sector involvement is the final hurdle Greece must clear to meet all the conditions of its second €130 billion bailout program from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

European finance officials could approve the final portion of Greece’s bailout as early as Friday.

In world markets, European stocks were mixed in morning trading and Asian markets ended higher.

In currencies and commodities, the dollar strengthened against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for April delivery rose 34 cents to $ 106.92 a barrel.

Gold futures for April delivery added $ 1.30 to $ 1,700 an ounce.

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