After moving to the upside early in the session, stocks remained mostly positive throughout the trading day on Monday. With the upward move on the day, the Nasdaq reached a new record closing high.
The major averages all closed firmly in positive territory. The Dow advanced 178.48 points or 0.7 percent to 24,813.69, the Nasdaq climbed 52.13 points or 0.7 percent to 7,606.46 and the S&P 500 rose 12.25 points or 0.5 percent to 2,746.87.
The strength on Wall Street came as traders continued to react positively to the release of better than expected employment data last Friday.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 223,000 jobs in May after climbing by a downwardly revised 159,000 jobs in April.
Economists had expected employment to increase by 188,000 jobs compared to the addition of 164,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
With the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.8 percent in May from 3.9 percent in April. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged.
The modest decrease pulled the unemployment rate down to its lowest level since a matching rate in April of 2000.
Meanwhile, traders have largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing a bigger than expected pullback in factory orders in the month of April.
The Commerce Department said factory orders fell by 0.8 percent in April after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.7 percent in March.
Economists had expected factory orders to drop by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.6 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.
Retail stocks turned in some of the market’s best performances on the day, driving the Dow Jones Retail Index up by 1.7 percent.
Tobacco and real estate stocks also moved to the upside, while