US STOCKS-Stocks leap as Wall Street lauds jobs growth
* Nonfarm payrolls up 223,000; jobless rate near 7-yr low
* S&P 500, Dow up for the week; Nasdaq down slightly for week
* Microsoft jumps on news it's not pursuing Salesforce
* Indexes end higher: Dow 1.5 pct, S&P 1.4 pct, Nasdaq 1.2 pct (Updates to close, adds comment, closing levels)
By Noel Randewich
May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes ended more than 1 percent higher on Friday after strong jobs data indicated U.S. economic growth was picking up momentum, but not enough to raise concerns about an earlier-than-expected interest-rate rise by the Federal Reserve.
U.S. job growth rebounded last month and the unemployment rate dropped to a near seven-year low, suggesting underlying strength in the economy at the start of the second quarter after growth hit a soft patch in the first.
"The market loved the jobs report. Couldn't have been better," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. "It wasn't a strong enough number to prompt any concern by the Fed."
Nonfarm payrolls in April increased by 223,000, just below expectations, while the unemployment rate dropped despite more people entering the job market. Tempering that good news, March payrolls were revised downwards to show only 85,000 jobs created, the fewest since June 2012. Continuación...