Strong hiring pushes Dow to opening high

Trader Gregory Rowe, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Trader Gregory Rowe, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

NEW YORK (AP) – A big gain in hiring last month sent the Dow Jones industrial average above 17,000 for the first time.

The government said early Thursday that U.S. employers added 288,000 workers last month, far more than economists were expecting. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent.

In the first few minutes of trading the Dow was up 74 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,050.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,981.

Bond prices fell as traders moved money out of low-risk assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.68 percent.

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