By KEN SWEET
AP Markets Writer NEW YORK (AP) - The Dow Jones industrial average jumped above 17,000 for the first time Thursday after the government reported a surge in hiring last month that was much bigger than investors and economists were expecting.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow rose 72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,048 as of 11:04 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,981. The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,476.
Major U.S. indexes closed at their latest all-time highs Wednesday following more signs that the U.S. economy is picking up. The S&P 500 is up 7.1 percent so far this year.
JOBS: The Department of Labor said U.S. employers added 288,000 workers to their payrolls last month, far more than economists forecast. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent. The government also said employers hired more people in previous months than reported earlier: 217,000 in May and 304,000 in April. The U.S. economy is now creating an average of 230,833 each month in 2014, compared with the 194,250 each month last year.
"Today's data topped even some of the most optimistic of forecasts," said Neil Massa, senior trader at John Hancock Asset Management.
GIVE A DOG A BONE: PetSmart, the pet supply chain, rose $7.88, or 13 percent, to $67.75 in early trading. Activist investor Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the company.
EUROPE: Major European markets also rose following the data out of the U.S. France's CAC 40 added 1 percent, while Germany's DAX increased 1 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies gained 0.2 percent.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Investors sold bonds after the strong jobs report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.67 percent from 2.63 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall. The price of crude oil slipped 40 cents to $104.08 a barrel.
HOLIDAY: U.S. markets will close at 1 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and will remain closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.