(CNBC) U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, lifting the Dow industrials above 17,000, after the government reported the economy created a better-than-expected 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent.
"I would categorize it as a fantastic number, and a great transition to earnings season next week," said David Lyon, a global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank in San Francisco.
Lorillard rallied after CNBC reported the tobacco maker could be taken over by Reynolds American within weeks. PetSmart jumped after hedge fund Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 percent stake and said it plans to ask the retailer to explore a sale.
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"It was a very good report; the next leg up in stocks is the 2,000 mark on the S&P 500," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.