“The U.S. added 313,000 new jobs in February, the biggest gain in a year and a half and clear evidence that a strong economy has plenty of room to keep expanding,” Jeffry Bartash reports for MarketWatch. “The increase in hiring easily blew past the 222,000 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. Job gains in January and December were also much stronger than initially reported.”

“Hourly pay rose 4 cents to $26.75 an hour, but the yearly increase in wages tapered off. The 12-month increase in pay slipped to 2.6% from a revised 2.8% in January,” Bartash reports. “Still, the strong report makes it a virtual lock the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when senior officials meet this month.”

“The unemployment rate was unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1%,” Bartash reports. “Construction companies hired 61,000 people to mark the biggest increase in 11 years. Retailers added 50,000 jobs, as did professional-oriented businesses. And manufacturers filled 31,000 positions. The modest growth in wages in February is likely to tamp down, at least for awhile, Wall Street worries about rising pay leading to higher inflation.”

“Shares of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s components turned broadly higher in premarket trade Friday, after the release of better-than-expected jobs data,” Tomi Kilgore reports for MarketWatch. “Dow futures surged 159 points, after trading slightly lower ahead of the data.”

“The most active Dow stock was Apple Inc.’s which tacked on 0.6%,” Kilgore reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A stronger U.S. economy, especially regarding employment and disposable income gains, obviously bodes well for Apple and for everyone else. A rising tide lifts all boats!

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