After a pickup in jobs, last month boosted optimism in the economy, and a sharp rise in hourly wages added to inflation concerns, US equities climbed, bringing the S&P 500 to within a whisker of its all-time high.
After employers added 559,000 jobs last month, just below the average estimate, information-technology stocks rose the most in the S&P 500, with the index less than 5 points below its May peak. Gains in mega-caps such as Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. propelled the Nasdaq 100 to a one-month peak.
Traders are looking at Friday's data for guidance on the Federal Reserve's next steps on interest rates and asset purchases, as markets have been relatively quiet recently. As the world's largest economy recovers from the pandemic, solid services figures released on Thursday illustrated the rapid growth in business activity.
Intel, Salesforce, and Microsoft led gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was less than 0.1% off its all-time high. The dollar fell against all of its G-10 counterparts, and 10-year treasury yields dropped below 1.6%.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index, meanwhile, closed out a third week of gains. As China's markets dealt with President Biden's order amending a ban on US investment in Chinese firms, Asia stocks were mixed. 59 companies with links to the country's military or the surveillance industry, including Huawei Technologies Co. were listed in the order.
Crude oil prices are expected to rise for the second week in a row.