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Dow rises to 8th straight record close after much stronger-than-expected jobs report

  • The Dow hit an all-time high and posted its eighth straight record close.
  • Wall Street received a boost from a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
  • U.S. equity indexes have been on a tear lately, especially the Dow, which broke above 22,000 for the first time earlier this week.

U.S. equities rose on Friday on better-than-expected employment data.

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a record high and closed 66.71 points at 22,092.81. Goldman Sachs contributed the most gains. The index also posted its eighth straight record close.

The S&P 500 gained 0.19 percent to close at 2,476.83, with financials rising 0.72 percent to lead advancers. The Nasdaq composite closed 0.18 percent higher at 6,351.56.

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Banks, including Goldman Sachs, outperformed the market, with the SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE) advancing 0.81 percent. The space received a boost from a jump in interest rates, which followed strong U.S. employment data.

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, well above the expected gain of 183,000.

"If this were a company reporting earnings, this would be a beat and raise in guidance," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "We're also winding down on the earnings season so this came at the perfect time."

The closely watched wage number was unchanged from previous months, with average hourly earnings up 2.5 percent. The average work week also was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.
Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.

"This is the second month in a row where we came in above 200,000 and above expectations," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "I think the reason the market isn't going gangbusters here is because [the Dow] has gone up for eight days in a row. It's hard to justify buying heading into the weekend when you've had this rally."

U.S. equity indexes have been on a tear lately, especially the Dow. The 30-stock index has notched seven straight record closes and broke above 22,000 for the first time on Wednesday.

Investors paid close attention to the report as they looked for clues about the Federal Reserve's plans for future monetary policy changes. Market expectations for a December rate hike are approximately 50 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

"This just gives them more ammunition for another rate hike," said Sharon Stark, managing director of fixed income strategies at Incapital, referring to the jobs report. "The market reaction is not a surprise. We had a pretty strong rally yesterday."

U.S. Treasury yields jumped on the news, with the benchmark 10-year yield climbing to trade at 2.264 percent, while the short-term two-year yield rose to 1.355 percent. Yields followed their UK counterparts lower on Thursday after the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged.

Currencies also moved on the report, with the dollar edging off a 15-month low. The greenback also hit its lowest level against the euro earlier this week, with the common currency briefly breaking above $1.19.

"The euro has basically had a straight run higher against the dollar since April," said Minh Trang, senior FX trader at Silicon Valley Bank. "A lot of that has to do with an upward outlook on the European economy and also the dollar weakness," which is due to subdued expectations of fiscal stimulus and tax reform.

The dollar soared soon after President Donald Trump was elected, but has dropped more than 8 percent this year. Trump's administration has been mired by multiple failed attempts at repealing and replacing Obamacare, as well as an ongoing investigation into Russia's involvement in the U.S. election.

On Thursday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal first reported that Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation on Russia, impaneled a grand jury.

"Health-care reform is dead but that's already baked into the market," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt. "Now they're pivoting to tax reform. If that peters out altogether, then that could be a negative for the market."

—CNBC's Jeff Cox contributed to this report.