NEW: Stocks close broadly higher after big job gains in March

US Economy Added 916,000 Jobs in March .Though the economy still has 8.4 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic, .the jobs added in March exceeded economists' expectations of 647,000.Springtime is here for the economic recovery, as today's jobs report showed the economy growing at its fastest pace since September, Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, via Fox News.The leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs with 280,000.Arts, entertainment and recreation added over 64,000.Public and private education saw a total of 190,000 jobs added as schools begin to reopen.Construction jobs increased by 110,000.The unemployment rate fell by 6%

Stocks on Wall Street notched broad gains Monday as investors welcomed more signs that the economy is on the path to recovery,

The S&P 500 rose 1.4% to an all-time high after closing above the 4,000-point mark for the first time last Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also set a record high, as the market extended its recent run of gains. Technology companies powered much of the rally, which was a reaction to encouraging data on the economy.

The U.S. government reported last week that employers went on a hiring spree in March, adding 916,000 jobs, the most since August. Traders had a delayed reaction to the encouraging jobs report, which was released Friday when stock trading was closed. Investors were further encouraged by a report Monday showing that the services sector recorded record growth in March as orders, hiring and prices surged.

Employment and the services industry have been lagging other areas of the economy throughout the recovery. Analysts have said that both need to show signs of growth in order for the recovery to remain on track. COVID-19 and the potential for a spike in cases remains a concern, but the strong rollout of vaccinations is making an eventual return to normal for many people seem clearer and closer.

“The jobs report underscored the rebound in the labor market,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “The only thing that can stymie this rebound, this recovery, will be that COVID-19 launches another wave.”

The S&P 500 rose 58.04 points to 4,077.91. The benchmark index is coming off two straight weekly gains. The Dow picked up 373.98 points, or 1.1%, to 33,527.19. The Nasdaq composite gained 225.49 points, or 1.7%, to 13,705.59.

Small company stocks, which are outgaining the broader market so far this year, also rose Monday. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 10.98 points, or 0.5%, to 2,264.89. The index is up 14.7% so far this year, while the broader market S&P 500 index is up 8.6%.

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