Stocks move higher after unemployment rate falls

Associated Press
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, trader Nicholas DeStafano, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were higher Friday Feb. 7, 2014 in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report for January. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, trader Nicholas DeStafano, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were higher Friday Feb. 7, 2014 in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report for January. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are higher in midday trading after the government reported a decline in the unemployment rate last month.

Earnings gains from several U.S. companies including Expedia also drove indexes higher Friday. The market had its biggest gain of the year the day before.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90 points, or 0.6 percent, to stand at 15,719 as of noon Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,787. Health care and industrial stocks led the index higher.

The Nasdaq composite rose 47 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,104.

More people began looking for work in January, and many of them found jobs. That sent the unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent, the lowest since October 2008.

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