Markets poised to extend rally
NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes rose Friday on mixed economic reports, touching 14,000 for the first time in five years.
The Labor Department said the U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher to 7.9 percent in January with the addition of 157,000 jobs, slightly less than predicted.
But 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.
At noon, markets looked likely to extend a four-week winning streak. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average added 139.84 points or 1.01 percent to 14,000.42. The Nasdaq composite of tech-oriented stocks gained 34.31 points or 1.09 percent to 3,176.45. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 14.75 points or 0.98 percent to 1,512.86.
Unemployment ticks up to 7.9
WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The January unemployment rate rose 0.1 point to 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The climb comes just two months after the rate fell to 7.7 percent in November -- the lowest since December 2008.
Despite the tick up in the jobless rate, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger said the report "provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression."
The the report "is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy," he said.
Krueger called for Congress to "move toward a sustainable federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending ... while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens."
Krueger noted that the economy has added 6.1 million jobs over the past 35 months, with 2.2 million of those added to the private sector in 2012.
The unemployment rate is affected by the number of jobs and the size of the workforce and in January both were changed.
The department said the economy added 157,000 jobs in January, about half the rate that economists say is necessary to bring down the unemployment rate.
Bomb kills guard at U.S. Embassy in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A suicide bombing outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killed a Turkish security guard and injured two other people, authorities said Friday.
"We can confirm a terrorist blast at a checkpoint on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara, Turkey, at 1:13 p.m. local time," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties ... ."
Officials said the guard and suicide bomber were killed. It had been reported earlier that two security guards died in the attack.
The explosion destroyed a door at the entrance and scattered masonry from the wall around it but embassy workers said there was no damage inside the building, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
All embassy personnel had been taken to safe rooms within the building, the newspaper reported.
The attack on the consulate in Ankara came just over 4 1/2 months after heavily armed militants stormed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans died in that Sept. 11 attack, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Most ancient texts said saved in Timbuktu
TIMBUKTU, Mali, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Most of the ancient documents feared lost when retreating militants set fire to a library in Timbuktu are safe, preservation expert in Mali said.
About 300,000 texts at the government-funded Ahmed Baba Institute escaped destruction, Discovery News reported.
Up to 2,000 manuscripts may have been destroyed, said Mahmoud Zouber, Mali's former presidential aide on Islamic affairs.
During the 10 months the Islamist radicals occupied Timbuktu, Malian preservationists moved thousands of documents, some of which dated to the 12th century, out of the institute into hiding places around the city and surrounding areas, authorities dais.
Several mausoleums of Islamic saints did not fare so well, Radio France Internationale reported.
Local journalists said about a dozen of them were destroyed by the fundamentalists, who considered rites at the burial sites to be "idolatry."
Burger King cuts ties with U.K. supplier
DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Fast food restaurant Burger King said it has terminated its relationship with a European supplier after finding trace amounts of horse meat in beef patties.
The horse meat was found at a Silvercrest Foods facility in Ireland, CNNMoney reported.
Silvercrest supplied beef for Burger King restaurants in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark.
"[W]e are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologize to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100 percent beef burgers," Burger King's vice president for global quality, Diego Beamonte, said in a statement.
Horse meat was discovered is Silvercrest in early January by Ireland's Food Safety Authority, which said the meat did not pose a safety risk.
Since that discovery, Silvercrest has made a "total management change" at the facility, said Paul Finnerty, CEO of Silvercrest parent ABP Food Group.
"We are proud of our excellent reputation for quality and service throughout Europe and are determined not to allow the Silvercrest incident overshadow what is a great business," Finnerty said.
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
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