Dow breaks 17,000 following strong US job gains

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Dow Jones industrial average is trading above 17,000 for the first time after the U.S. government reported a big gain in hiring last month.

The government said early Thursday that employers added 288,000 workers in June, far more than economists were expecting.

The Dow was up 79 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 17,055 as of noon Eastern time.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points, or 0.4 per cent, to 1,981. The Nasdaq composite gained 20 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,478.

PetSmart jumped 13 per cent, the most in the S&P 500 index, after the activist investor Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 per cent stake in the company.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.65 per cent.