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Dow tops 14,000 for first time since 2007

The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the 14,000 barrier momentarily Friday for the first time since October 2007, helped by some encouraging jobs data and solid earnings reports.

The Dow was just above the benchmark at 12:00 pm (1700 GMT), trading up 1.0 percent from Thursday at 14,001, having earlier pushed just over 14,004.

The last time the Dow was at that level was October 17, 2007, weeks before the markets began to plummet as the country plunged into recession.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 14.81 points (0.99 percent) at 1,512.92, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 34.55 (1.10 percent) at 3,176.68.

The markets took in stride the January jobs numbers: unemployment ticked up a notch to 7.9 percent and only 157,000 jobs were generated, fewer than expected.

But revised data for all of 2012 gave a much better picture, with monthly net job generation at 181,000 instead of the earlier figure of only 153,000.

"A slight miss on payrolls in January was more than offset by upward revisions to the previous couple of months," said Jim O'Sullivan at High Frequency Economics.

ExxonMobil shares were flat after it reported a six percent gain in net income for the fourth quarter but said oil and gas production had dropped five percent from a year earlier.

Chevron added 0.7 percent after it beat analysts' forecasts in its earnings.

But Merck shares sank 2.9 percent after it turned in a 7.3 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit and it forecast a slight fall in profits for this year.

Anheuser-Busch InBev rebounded 3.1 percent after a sharp fall on Thursday following the Justice department's move to block its takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.

In tech shares, sagging computer maker Dell powered up 4.2 percent amid talk that its plan to take itself private could be announced next week.

Netflix meanwhile added 3.2percent.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.97 percent from 1.99 percent late Thursday, while the 30-year was flat at 3.17 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.