US STOCKS hit five-year highs yesterday after jobs and manufacturing data showed the economy’s sluggish recovery is still on track.
The Dow industrials hit 14,000 for the first time since mid October 2007 and the S&P hit its highest level since December that year. The S&P gained 5 per cent last month, its best start to a year since 1997.
Employment grew modestly in January, with 157,000 jobs added in the month, slightly below expectations for 160,000. However, figures for both November and December were revised upwards.
Separate reports showed the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in January to its highest level in nine months, US consumer sentiment rose more than expected last month.