Stocks jump on strong jobs report for January

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NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks jumped sharply in midday trading on news that the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in three years.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 140 points.

Before the market opened Friday, the Labor Department said companies added 243,000 employees in January, the strongest job growth in nine months. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent.

The S&P 500 index added 17 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,342. The S&P 500 is on track to rise for the fifth straight week, the longest weekly winning streak since January of 2011.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 143 points, or 1.1 percent, to 12,849. Bank of America Corp. led the Dow, rising 5.1 percent.

The Nasdaq added 42 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,901.