U.S. equities closed higher after hitting all-time highs on Friday as the technology sector led, while investors parsed through key employment data.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 65 points, with Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney contributing the most gains, and reached a new all-time intraday high. The Dow also came within 0.37 points of hitting 20,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 gained 0.35 percent and posted intraday and closing record highs, with information technology advancing 1 percent.
The Nasdaq composite outperformed, closing 0.6 percent higher, also hitting new all-time intraday and closing high. Leading the tech-heavy index higher were Apple and the so-called FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet), which all rose.
"I think that part of the catalyst is this rotation into some of the sectors that had not caught the initial updrift" from the U.S. presidential election, said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "When you look at the tech sector, it was not viewed favorably" by investors right after Nov. 8.
"The Dow has been approaching 20,000 for several weeks now. Strong jobs news, combined with optimism about the incoming administration's policies is lifting stocks," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.
Dow intraday chartSource: FactSet
The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 178,000. The unemployment rate came in at 4.7 percent, in line with expectations.
"This report is very good," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. "The fantastic thing here is the jump in hourly wages." Average hourly wages rose 10 cents to $26, representing a 2.9 percent annualized gain.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, said the report was "a net positive." "I think the problem is that investors are coming to the realization that the stronger dollar could be a headwind ... for about 60 percent of the S&P 500."
Other data released Friday included November factory orders, which fell 2.4 percent, more than expected.