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Dow closes above 14,000

NEW YORK – The Dow stock market index closed above 14,000 for the first time since before the financial crisis rocked the world economy.

Propelled by strong auto sales and optimism about U.S. jobs, the Dow Jones industrial average crossed the line early Friday and continued flirting with the mark all day. The other major stock indexes also rose.

The Dow was up 149 points to 14,010. It’s gained 6.9 percent this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 15 to 1,513. The Nasdaq composite index added 37 to 3,179.

The government jobs report that pushed stocks forward was mixed. The U.S. said it added 157,000 jobs in January, in line with expectations. But unemployment inched up to 7.9 percent.

Automakers Toyota, Ford, GM and Chrysler all reported double-digit sales gains for January.

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