Stocks Climb on Strong Jobs Report

NEW YORK (AP) -- Global stock markets are rising Friday on the back of strong U.S. jobs figures, while investor concerns about rising inflation have eased. Technology companies are climbing and banks are rising in tandem with interest rates. Investors also digested President Donald Trump's announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and news that Trump plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 17 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,756 as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 150 points, or 0.6 percent, 25,046. The Nasdaq composite jumped 50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,478. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,579.

JOBS: U.S. employers added 313,000 jobs in February, more than experts had expected. Perhaps more importantly for Wall Street, wages didn't rise as much as investors had fared. Hourly wages grew 2.6 percent compared to a year ago. A month ago the government reported that wages jumped 2.9 percent in January, and investors worried that that was a sign inflation was going to start rising at a faster pace. If so, the Federal Reserve would likely raise interest rates more rapidly in response, which could slow down economic growth.

Technology companies made some of the largest gains. Facebook rose $1.20 to $183.54 and Google's parent company Alphabet added $6.53 to $1,135.91.

Bond prices dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.90 percent from 2.85 percent. That helps banks, because it allows them to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans. JPMorgan Chase rose $1.21, or 1.1 percent, to $115.95 and Capital One Financial gained $1.45, or 1.5 percent, to $99.60.

High-dividend stocks like utilities and phone companies fell. Those stocks are often compared to bonds and they tend to fall when yields move higher, as higher yields make them less appealing to investors seeking income.

BAD NEWS, GEOFFREY: Toymakers fell after Reuters reported that Toys R Us is getting ready to liquidate its U.S. operations. Reuters said the chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection, has been unable to find a buyer or restructure its debt. Despite its struggles, it's still a major retailer of toys. Hasbro dropped $2.99, or 3.2 percent, to $90.39 while Mattel sank $1.31, or 8.2 percent, to $14.66.

TARIFFS IMPACT: After a week of trying to determine the impact U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would have, markets largely brushed aside confirmation that Trump was going ahead with his plan. Now, investors are wondering what countries will ultimately be hit the hardest. Trump has said Canada and Mexico will be exempted. The EU is looking to be exempted, too, but has said it will retaliate if its exports are hit with tariffs.

NORTH KOREA: Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, South Korean and U.S. officials said Thursday. No American president has ever met with a North Korean leader while in office. The news helped send South Korea's Kospi up 1.1 percent.

Other Asian indexes also rose. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent and. Hong Kong's Hang Seng also rose 1.1 percent.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent while Germany's DAX fell 0.1 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain rose 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 8 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $61.01 a barrel in New York, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.02, or 1.6 percent, to $64.63 a barrel in London.

That helped energy companies. Chevron jumped $1.72, or 1.5 percent, to $115.07 and Schlumberger gained $1.48, or 2.2 percent, to $68.22.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 106.88 yen from 106.24 yen. The euro declined to $1.2302 from $1.2306.

(BE)