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Other News: Markets Jump on Positive Jobs Report

August 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM EST
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In other news, Wall Street rallied on a Labor Department report that showed the U.S. economy lost fewer jobs than expected in July, and President Obama signed a $2 billion extension of the "cash for clunkers" incentive program.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In other news today, Wall Street was happy with the employment report. The Dow Jones industrial average gained well over 113 points to close at 9,370. The Nasdaq rose 27 points to close at 2,000. For the week, the Dow gained 2 percent; the Nasdaq rose 1 percent.

President Obama has signed an extension of the Cash for Clunkers program to stimulate auto sales. The Senate approved another $2 billion last night, a week after the House did so. The program had all but run through its initial budget of $1 billion.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rallied South Africa today to help struggling economies across the African continent. It was her second stop on a seven-nation tour. In Johannesburg, Clinton told business leaders they have a “responsibility and an opportunity” to contribute to Africa’s economic success.

HILLARY CLINTON, secretary of state: We believe that South Africa has so much more economic potential and it cannot exist as an island of relative prosperity amid a sea of untapped opportunity elsewhere on the continent.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Earlier in the day, Clinton met privately with former South African President Nelson Mandela, who turned 91 last month.

Across Iraq, a string of attacks killed at least 51 Shiites. The worst was north of Mosul. Thirty-eight Iraqis died when a suicide car bomb brought down a Shiite mosque; 200 more were wounded.

And in Afghanistan, one U.S. servicemember and three British paratroopers were killed in the latest fighting.

There was new advice from Washington today to scale back closing schools because of the swine flu, also known as H1N1. More than 700 schools closed in half the states last spring. But federal officials said today that that’s not needed unless large numbers of students get sick.

And Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that schools do need contingency plans.

ARNE DUNCAN, secretary of education: We absolutely hope that no schools will have to close, but realistically some schools will close this fall. And if they do, it’s incredibly important to all of us that our students continue to learn. Educators need to start thinking now about having temporary home schooling plans in place, using both phones and the Internet, whether it’s for just a few students or potentially for an entire school.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Officials also said that students who get swine flu should be allowed back 24 hours after their fever is gone. The previous recommendation was to stay home for a week.

Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida has announced that he will resign this month, more than a year before his term ends. The one-term Republican is one of only two Hispanics in the Senate. He had already said he would not seek re-election next year. It falls to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to appoint a place-holder to serve out the rest of Martinez’s term. Crist is already running for the seat, but he said today that he would not appoint himself.