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Stocks jump...US employers add 223,000 jobs...Wholesale stockpiles up slightly



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are climbing in early Wall Street trading after a government report showed businesses continuing to hire workers at a steady pace. The Dow Jones industrial average has been up more than 200 points. Foreign markets got a lift from the results of the election in the United Kingdom, where the David Cameron's Conservative Party won an outright majority in Parliament.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The April employment report suggests that the economy may be recovering after stumbling at the start of the year. The Labor Department says employers added 223,000 jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.4 percent. That's the lowest rate since May of 2008. But the job gain in March was revised sharply lower, to just 85,000 from 126,000. And average hourly wages rose just 2.2 percent in April from a year earlier.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesalers expanded stockpiles modestly in March even though their sales fell for an eighth straight month. The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles edged up 0.1 percent following a 0.2 percent rise in February. Sales at the wholesale level fell 0.2 percent after an even bigger 0.6 percent drop in February. Sales have fallen every month since August. Economists are expecting that sales will rebound in coming months as the warmer weather lures shoppers back to malls and auto dealerships.

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is reporting a record profit for the fiscal year through March, boosted by sales growth in the U.S. and the cheap yen. The $18.1 billion profit is up 19 percent from the previous year. Annual sales grew 6 percent to $227 billion, although fewer vehicles were sold around the world. Cost cuts and a cheap yen helped. Toyota has been the world's No. 1 automaker in global vehicle sales for the last three years.

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — McDonald's says a key sales metric edged lower in April, with weakness across most regions. The world's biggest hamburger chain, which is in the midst of a turnaround plan, says sales at established locations open at least 13 months fell 0.6 percent in April. By region, the biggest drop was in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, which fell 3.8 percent. In the U.S., the metric declined 2.3 percent. Europe was a bright spot, up 1 percent.

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The Associated Press

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