Stocks surged Friday, finishing the day just short of record highs as investors responded enthusiastically to a strong June jobs report.
The buying accelerated throughout the day after the Labor Department said U.S. employers added 287,000 jobs last month. That was far more than analysts expected. After weak reports from April and May, it suggests the economy and job market haven’t run out of steam.
“It was a strong report and it put to bed worries that we were seeing the job market sputter,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist for Edward Jones.
The Dow Jones industrial average surged 250.86, or 1.40 percent, to 18,146.74.
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The S&P 500 rose 32.00, or 1.53 percent, to 2,129.90.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 79.95, or 1.64 percent, to 4,956.76.
Mining and material companies, which would stand to benefit more than other industries from an accelerating economy, took the biggest gains. Machinery makers also jumped. Only eight stocks on the Standard & Poor’s 500 finished lower.
The government said the unemployment rate rose slightly as more people looked for jobs. There was also evidence that wages were rising faster. The April and May reports worried investors, in part because they came after the economy grew just 1.1 percent over the first three months of 2016. The U.S. economy has been growing for more than six years and investors are wary that the streak could end.
Among material and industrial companies, paint and coatings maker PPG Industries added $3.29, or 3.2 percent, to $106.32 and aluminum producer Alcoa picked up 48 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $9.82. Machinery maker Caterpillar climbed $2.32, or 3.1 percent, to $77.37 and aerospace company Boeing gained $2.92, or 2.3 percent, to $130.09.