NEW YORK — Stocks rose after the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month, driving the Nasdaq Composite to an 11-year high and pushing the Dow to its highest close in nearly four years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 156.82 points, or 1.2%, to 12862.23, ending the week with its best finish since May 19, 2008. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index tacked on 19.36 points, or 1.5%, to 1344.90, capping off a fifth-straight weekly gain.
The technology-oriented Nasdaq Composite Index gained 45.98 points, or 1.6%, to 2905.66, closing at its highest level since December 2000.
All three major indexes are considered officially in a bull market as of Friday's market action, defined as 20% or higher above October's closing lows. The S&P 500, up 6.9% so far this year, and the Nasdaq, up 12%, are each off to their best starts to a year in over two decades.
All 10 of the S&P 500's sectors rose Friday, with financials and consumer-discretionary stocks leading the way. Bank of America rose 39 cents, or 5.2%, to $7.84, while Caterpillar added $3.61, or 3.3%, to $113.94.
Friday's gains followed a strong report from the U.S. Labor Department. January data showed nonfarm payrolls rose 243,000 last month, marking the biggest gain since April. The jobless rate fell from 8.5% to 8.3%, the lowest it has been since February 2009.
Stocks popped higher at the open and then cruised with its gains through the afternoon.
"The data seems to show the economy is mending a bit faster than it was a year, or two years ago," said David Resler, chief economic adviser for Nomura Securities.
Other data showed that the U.S. nonmanufacturing sector expanded at a faster rate in January, while a factory orders came in lower than expectations.
European markets also rose on encouraging economic data. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 1.7% and closed at a six-month high. The euro-zone composite purchasing manager's index confirmed private-sector activity expanded in January, with the index rising to 50.4 from 48.3 in December.
Asian bourses were mixed, with Japan's Nikkei Stock Average down 0.5% and China's Shanghai Composite up 0.8%.
Gold futures dropped 1.1%, to $1737.90 a troy ounce, while crude-oil prices rose 1.5% to $97.84 a barrel. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.943%.
In corporate news, Tyson Foods rallied 76 cents, or 4.1%, to 19.38, after the meat processor reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations, boosted by a return to profitability in its chicken business.
Genworth Financial swung to a fourth-quarter profit as the insurer enjoyed net investment gains rather than losses and reported lower policy benefits. Shares climbed 1.13, or 14%, to 9.17.
Gilead Sciences' fourth-quarter earnings rose 5.7% as the biopharmaceutical company's product sales continued to rise and it no longer booked deep reductions in royalties. Shares gained 5.38, or 11%, to 54.70.
Edwards Lifesciences fell 9.13, or 11%, 71.54 after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell 2.6% on higher charges and issued muted projections for this quarter.
Wynn Resorts' fourth-quarter profit climbed 67% on a tax benefit and as the casino operator's Macau operations continued to post revenue growth, yet a battle between Chief Executive Steve Wynn and a shareholder overshadowed the results. Shares fell 5.80, or 4.8%, to 114.98.
THQ tumbled 23 cents, or 30%, to 53 cents, after the interactive-games maker reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that were well below expectations, while revenue was in line with its previously lowered outlook.
Trimble Navigation leapt 2.69, or 5.6%, to 50.83 after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded forecasts and provided a first-quarter outlook that was above projections.
Estee Lauder shed 1.37, or 2.3%, to 57.48 after the skin-care and fragrance-products maker's fiscal second-quarter results matched estimates, but its third-quarter earnings outlook was below projections.
Acme Packet rose 2.80, or 9.1%, to 33.69, though the networking equipment maker's fourth-quarter earnings and revenue came in below previously lowered expectations.