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.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 88.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16.924.28, up 1.2 percent from the week-ago close, with American Express and Goldman Sachs Group pacing gains that extended to 21 of 30 components.
Gaining 1.3 percent on the week, the also hit an all-time high of 1,949.44, up 0.5 percent, at 1,949.44, with energy and industrials the best performing and utilities and health care among the biggest laggards of its 10 major sectors.
"Psychologically, the next area is going to be 1,950, that the next level to push through. Then we want to look all the way up to 1,962. You're in unprecedented territory, which also makes the numbers a little fuzzier. We haven't traded there before, so we don't have resistance," said Kinahan.
As equities rose to records, the CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, fell to multi-year lows.
The Nasdaq gained 25.17 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,321.40, rising 1.9 percent on the week.
For every share falling, roughly three rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 640 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 2.8 billion.
"There is nothing to be disappointed about, as this morning's jobs report came in right in line across every metric. But it's not enough of an upside surprise to increase volume in this market said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.
The dollar edged higher against other global currencies, while dollar-denominated commodities were mixed.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed at record highs, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 advancing further into uncharted territory, after the European Central Bank moved to combat disinflation and investors looked to Friday's employment report.
—By CNBC's Evelyn Cheng and Kate Gibson
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