Stocks rise at midday, erasing an early loss

NEW YORK (AP) ? U.S. stocks are up after falling in early trading, boosted by encouraging jobs data.

The Dow Jones industrial average is up 46 points to 12,985 at midday. Earlier Thursday it rose to within four points of 13,000.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 3 points to 1,361, and the Nasdaq composite is up 19 to 2,953.

Seven of the S&P 500’s 10 industry groups were up, led by financials. Bank stocks had plummeted last year over concerns about their exposure to European debt, but some of those concerns have dissipated now that the initial panic is over.

Grocery store Safeway plunged 9 percent after reporting a decline in quarterly profit. Kohl’s, the department store chain, sank 5 percent on news of weak holiday sales.