U.S. stocks closed at all-time highs on Friday for a third week of gains after the May jobs report showed slow but steady improvement in the labor market.
"Investors are getting a little more confident that the U.S. economy will recover from that sluggish first quarter. But it's still not enough to propel the labor market from its slow, steady uptrend," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management.
The monthly data had nonfarm payrolls rising 217,000 and the jobless rate an unchanged 6.3 percent.
"There is diminishing slack in the labor market and wages are starting to rise; we didn't knock the ball out of the park, but all the details of the report confirm the view that economic growth is in fact rebounding in the second quarter," said Joseph Tanious, a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
In addition to a slight gain in average hourly earnings, positive aspects of the jobs report included the fact that the largest gains came in business services and health care, so "we're starting to create good quality jobs," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
The report "continues a positive trend of government numbers that we've seen so far, and is similar is many we've seen over the last six months—good, not great," Kinahan added.
Sprint declined as it reportedly closes in on a deal to acquire T-Mobile US; Rally Software Development fell sharply after projecting revenue beneath expectations and its shares were downgraded by several analysts.
Equities extending gains into a third session as cheer also lingered from the European Central Bank's policy move on Thursday, as "the ECB decreased rates and is going to remain supportive of the global economic recovery there," said Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management.
"It's a combination of both today and yesterday. The ECB announcement and the jobs report, both came in line or exceeded expectations," said Tanious at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.