“A surge in hiring in the world’s largest economy last month drove the Nasdaq to an 11-year high on Friday as optimism grew that the labor market is on a steady path to recovery,” Edward Krudy reports for Reuters.

“The broad-based gains on solid trading volume also sent the Dow Jones industrial average near a four-year high. The S&P 500 extended its 2012 advance to about 7 percent and was at its highest level in more than six months,” Krudy reports. “The U.S. economy created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate dropped to nearly a three-year low of 8.3 percent, the government said… Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent – the lowest since February 2009 – from 8.5 percent in December.”

“More than 450 stocks across all sectors hit 52-week highs, including Apple (AAPL), United Parcel Service (UPS), Yum Brands (YUM) and MasterCard (MA),” Krudy reports. “The number of NYSE stocks making new 52-week highs was at it highest since July.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, this sounds great! But, oh shit, read on…

Tyler Durden reports for ZeroHedge, “A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS [U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics] heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month!

“So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million,” Durden reports. “Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.

Read more in the full article here.

Floyd Norris reports for The New York Times, “How many jobs did the American economy add in January? The Labor Department estimated on Friday that the economy gained 243,000 jobs. The department also estimated that the economy lost 2,689,000 jobs in the month.”

“The difference in the two numbers is in seasonal adjustment. Employment always falls in January, as temporary Christmas jobs end. So the government applies seasonal adjustment factors in an effort to discern the real trend of the economy apart from seasonal fluctuations,” Norris reports. “The actual survey showed the big loss in jobs. The seasonal adjustments produced the reported gain of 243,000 jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]