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Feb. 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM
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Markets poised to extend rally

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes rose Friday after the government reported modest job growth and private-sector economists reported strong gains in manufacturing.

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.

In early afternoon trading, markets looked likely to extend a four-week winning streak. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average added 148.68 points or 1.07 percent to 14,009.26, up by 113 points on the week. The Nasdaq composite of tech-oriented stocks gained 39.27 points or 1.22 percent to 3,180.40, putting the index up 32 points since Monday morning. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 15.04 points or 1 percent to 1,513.15. The S&P began the week at 1,502.96.

The 10-year treasury note fell 3/32 to yield 2 percent.

Against the dollar, the euro rose to $1.366 from Thursday's $1.3578. The dollar rose to 92.48 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.

Economy adds 157,000 jobs in January

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate rose 0.1 point to 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The report included revised numbers for November and December, showing the economy added 247,000 jobs in those months -- 127,000 more than previously estimated.

The uptick to 7.9 percent comes two months after the rate fell to 7.7 percent in November -- the lowest since December 2008.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added an average of 181,000 jobs per month in 2012.

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 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.

On average, the department said, 181,000 jobs were added to the economy per month in 2012, which is also too low to bring down the unemployment rate given the average number of people entering the workforce each month, economists say.

In addition, the department said 12.3 million people were unemployed in January, a figure that was "little changed," from the previous month.

U.S. manufacturing picks up steam

TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. business activity at manufacturing firms picked up significantly in January, the Institute of Supply Management said Friday.

The headline Purchasing Managers Index rose from 50.2 in December to 53.1 in January, climbing for the second consecutive month as all five components that make up the index showed growth in the month.

The index uses 50 percent as the dividing line between growth and contraction.

The components of new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories all came in above 50, ISM said.

The new orders index rose from 49.7 to 53.3, pulling away from a contraction. The production index rose from 52.6 to 53.6, showing growth for the fifth consecutive month. The employment index, in the black for 40 consecutive months, rose from 51.9 to 54. The supplier deliveries index, showing growth for three months, rose eased slightly from 53.7 to 53.6. The inventories index rebounded from 43 in December, indicating contraction, to 51.

The ISM said 13 of 18 manufacturing sectors reported growth in the month.

The growth industries included plastics and rubber products; textile mills; furniture and related products; printing; apparel; electrical equipment and appliances; fabricated metal products; transportation equipment; petroleum and coal; machinery; primary metals; and food, beverage and tobacco products.

Burger King cuts ties with U.K. supplier

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 1 (UPI) – Fast-food restaurant chain 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," Diego Beamonte, Burger King vice president for global quality, 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, chief executive officer 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.

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