Stock indexes rise on US jobs news, Merkel talk

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stocks are edging higher after the U.S. unemployment rate dropped. Investors were also encouraged after Germany’s chancellor made tough remarks about fiscal discipline in the European Union.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 30 points, or 0.3 percent, to 12,050 at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Friday. It’s up 811 points for the week, putting the Dow on track for its second-biggest weekly point gain in history.

The government said the unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent last month, its lowest level in 2? years. But a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work.

The S&P 500 index rose 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,250. The Nasdaq composite rose 14, or 0.5 percent, to 2,639.