Stocks gain ground as U.S. labor engine accelerates in June.
U.S. stocks advanced sharply Friday after a solid nonfarm payrolls report boosted confidence in the domestic economy.
The S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.9% to 2,761.81. All 11 primary sectors tracked by the large-cap index finished in positive territory, with healthcare and information technology leading.
Dow industrials also rose sharply, adding 128.27 points, or 0.5%, to 24,485.01.
Meanwhile, the technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) surged 1.3% to 7,685.73.
A measure of 30-day volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) declined sharply in the final session of the week. The so-called “fear index” was down more than 9% at 13.61 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average.
In economic data, U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose faster than expected last month, offering further evidence of a strengthening domestic recovery.
Employers added a total of 213,000 employees to payrolls last month, compared with forecasts calling for 195,000, the Department of Labor reported Friday. The unemployment rate edged up to 4% as workforce participation improved.
In commodities, oil prices traded mixed on Friday, with the U.S. futures contract narrowing its discount to the international benchmark. to less than $3.50. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August settlement rose 85 cents, or 1.2%, to $73.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. ICE Brent futures fell 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $77.09 a barrel.
The Final Word: Solid jobs data send a strong signal to investors that the economy is on sure footing. It also gives policymakers at the Federal Reserve more leeway in raising interest rates later this year. The Fed is currently on track to boost interest rates two more times in 2018.