Click photo to enlarge
Trader Richard Newman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday, March 8, 2013. Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street after the government reported a burst of hiring last month that sent the unemployment rate to a four-year low.
NEW YORK—A sharp increase in hiring last month is pushing the stock market higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46 points, 0.3 percent, to 14,375 as of noon Friday. The index surpassed its record close Tuesday and is on track for a sixth straight increase.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,548. The Nasdaq composite advanced seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,239.

The government reported that employers added 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in January. That was far better than economists were expecting.

Pandora media jumped 20 percent after the Internet radio company issued a strong profit forecast and said its mobile business was improving. Pandora also said its CEO, Joseph Kennedy, would leave.