Dow Jones breaks 14,000 points
NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 14,000 mark for the first time in more than five years Friday on reports about U.S. jobs and manufacturing.
The Dow added 149.21 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 14,009.79 in late afternoon trading.
"Psychologically, it's a monumental number," Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus, told The Wall Street Journal. "It happened quicker than a lot of people thought it might, based on what's going on with the economy and the political climate."
It is the first time the Dow closed above 14,000 points since Oct. 12, 2007.
The Nasdaq picked up 36.97 points, or 1.18 percent, to 3,179.10.
The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 15.06 points, or 1.01 percent, to 1,513.17.
The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January, slightly less than forecast, and the unemployment rate rose from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent.
The Institute of Supply Management said manufacturing made strong gains in the month, with the Purchasing Managers' Index rising from 50.7 in December to 53.1 in January. Numbers above 50 in the index indicate business growth.
The Census Bureau reported Friday construction spending rose in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885 billion, 7.8 percent above spending in December 2011.
On the New York Stock Exchange, the total volume traded was 3.88 trillion shares, with advancers ahead of decliners, 2,342 trillion to 710 million shares.
The 10-year treasury note yield was 2.028 percent.
Against the dollar, the euro was $1.3650 from Thursday's $1.3578. The dollar was 92.77 yen from Thursday's 91.72 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.47 percent, 52.68 points, to 11,191.34.
In London, the FTSE 100 index added 1.12 percent, 70.36, to 6,347.24.
Goodyear to shutter tire plant in France
AMIENS, France, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Tire maker Goodyear said it would close a plant in northern France after negotiations with a workers group failed to turn the plant's fortunes around.
Radio France Internationale reported Friday closing the plant would end 1,173 jobs.
Goodyear Dunlop Tires France said the plant loses money and its fortunes are apt to deteriorate with much of Europe in a recession.
"We are deeply disappointed that five years of negotiations were not enough to reach a compromise with representatives of workers at Amiens Nord. Today's announcement was the only option left to us," the company said.
Rules on U.S. beef sales to Japan eased
TOKYO, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Japan eased it limits on U.S. beef imports, retailers now allowed to sell meat from cattle less than 30 months old, Japan's Food Safety Commission said.
The move was approved in October and took effect Friday.
All U.S. beef was banned from Japan in 2003, following an outbreak of mad cow disease in the American herd. The ban was lifted in 2005, but only meat from cattle less than 20 months old was permitted to be imported, the Japan Times said Friday.
The commission noted the difference in risk between 20-month-old and 30-month-old cattle was "extremely small."
Exports generally involve meat from cattle aged between 16 and 22 months, Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries ministry noted.
The easing of the rules means about 90 percent of all U.S.-produced beef will qualify for export to Japan, the newspaper said.
Panel floats high-end investor exchange
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- An advisory panel to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recommended Friday a stock exchange be created exclusively for high-end investors.
The panel, the advisory committee on small and emerging companies, voted to urge the SEC to support setting up an exchange for small publicly traded companies that would be accessible only to wealthy investors who have a net worth of at least $1 million or income of $200,000 or more for at least two years, MarketWatch.com reported.
Companies included on the exchange may not be required to provide prospectuses or all disclosures necessary when retail investors are involved, the panel said.
The advisory panel's co-chairman, Stephen Graham, told MarketWatch.com it is difficult for small private companies to "cross the line" and become publicly traded because of associated costs. He said such an exchange would serve as an intermediary into the broader market.
Commissioner Dan Gallagher said he wasn't sure whether an exchange should be limited to high net worth investors. He said the SEC could tailor disclosure requirements to reduce costs.
"We need to focus on more on these types of markets for the average investor as well as sophisticated investor," he said.
Charles Rotblut, vice president of the American Association of Individual Investors, told MarketWatch that wealth -- or lack of it -- wasn't indicative of investment acumen.
"An accountant [who] does not have the wealth to be an accredited investor, but understands financial statements, would not be allowed to invest," Rotblut said. "Having wealth does not mean you have the knowledge to always make intelligent investment decisions."
The panel also recommended the SEC explore other alternatives, including creating a private secondary market in the shares of private companies to help raise capital for companies not wanting to offer shares on an exclusive exchange.
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