May 3 - For the first time in history, the Dow cracked 15,000 and the S&P 500 crossed 1,600 as stronger-than-expected job creation and an unemployment rate at a 2008-low gave investors less to worry about; Staples to sell 3D printer; Portugal looks to save 5 billion euros. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Dow touches 15,000 and the S&P 500 closes above 16-00 for the first time in history as the job market defies expectations. A rising tide lifted all boats - The Dow up just about 1 percent, the S&P 500 up a full percent and the Nasdaq up 1.1 percent. As for the week: blue chips gained 1.8 percent and the Nasdaq surged 3 percent. Finally! Some good news Wall Street can sink its teeth into. Job creation topped forecasts in April. March figures were revised sharply higher and better yet February job growth was upped to the biggest gain in almost three years. Separately, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 % - a low not seen since December 2008. Julia Coronado of BNP Paribas doesn't think the changes are fast enough to change the Fed's attempt to boost the economy. SOUNDBITE: JULIA CORONADO, CHIEF ECONOMIST-NORTH AMERICA, BNP PARIBAS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In an absolute sense this number is okay but it is still slower than the pace of job creation we've seen at the start of the year. So overall, I think they are going to want to see a lot more. We still haven't seen the impact of the sequester budget cuts come through. We know that that's going to have some impact so that lies ahead of us." Staples wants to be the first major retailer to get into the 3D printing business. It will begin selling "The Cube," which will hit store shelves for about $1300 in a limited rollout beginning at the end of June. Staples' sure could use a boost from the emerging technology. One analyst predicts the 3D business could be as big as $3.7 billion by 2015. Shares of Staples along with 3D printing companies like Proto-Labs, Stratasys, 3D Systems all up on the day. Late developments out of Portugal. The government wants to boost the retirement age by one year, lengthen the work-week for civil servants to 40 hours from 35, and cut 30,000 government workers - all to save nearly 5 billion euros through 20-15. As for the markets - European investors really liked those jobs numbers out of the U.S.