Dow closes above 14,000 for the first time since 2007

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 14,000 Friday for the first time since October 2007 as stocks continue a rally this year.

The Dow gained 149.21 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 14,009.79.

Stocks were lifted Friday by a host of data pointing to a continued recovery in the U.S. economy.

The federal government reported early Friday the economy added 157,000 jobs in January, as the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent. Manufacturing, consumer confidence and construction data also boosted optimism.

Investors have found more reasons this year to get back into equities. President Barack Obama and Congress helped defuse potentially drastic tax increases and spending cuts threatened by the “fiscal cliff.” Economists had warned that the cliff, if left unaddressed, could push the economy back into recession.

The Federal Reserve has also been keeping interest rates to historic lows with multiple rounds of monetary stimulus.

That has pushed investors into riskier investments like stocks.