United States stocks advanced on Friday, after another strong monthly jobs report showed the economic recovery was expanding.
Underpinning the bullish sentiment, Greece completed the negotiation of the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history, an issue that has kept investors skittish.
Reuters reported on Friday, that the S&P 500 faced strong technical resistance as it approached its highest level in nearly four years.
Bank shares, among the most sensitive to growth expectations and the euro-zone crisis, led the gains. The KBW bank index rose by 1.6 per cent with Citigroup up by 1.8 per cent at $34.59 and JPMorgan Chase rose by 2.1 per cent at $41.29.
“There is a greater sense of confidence with the jobs number that we got, better hope for continued economic growth,” a senior trader at Wedbush Morgan in Los Angeles, Mr. Michael James, said.
He said the Greek deal also helps lift stocks as it “removes a little bit of European financial risk from the markets in the short term.”
Despite a broad rally in the US dollar, which could pressure the prices of greenback-denominated commodities, an index of basic materials shares advanced alongside the Reuters/Jefferies commodities index. The gains underscore the current focus on the US economic recovery.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 39.17 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 12,947.11. The S&P 500 Index gained 7.75 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 1,373.66. The Nasdaq Composite rose by 20.31 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 2,990.73.
Exactly three years ago, the S&P 500 posted a 12-year closing low at 676.53 during the height of the financial crisis. The index has more than doubled since then, although it stalled last year before resuming a rally in 2012.
US employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls in February, government data showed, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 per cent even as people flooded back into the labor force to hunt for jobs.
Shares of Monster Worldwide Incorporated, an online employment agency whose stock is sensitive to changes in the employment outlook, rose by 5.1 per cent to $9.05.