The Dow Jones Industrial Average bolted above 17,000 points for the first time in intraday trade Thursday after data showed the US had surprisingly strong jobs growth in June.
About 40 minutes into trade, the Dow stood at 17,050.80, up 74.56 points (0.44 percent), while the S&P 500 gained 7.01 (0.36 percent) to 1,981.63.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at records for the second day in a row Wednesday.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 16.37 (0.37 percent) at 4,474.10.
The Labor Department reported the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June as the economy added 288,000 jobs; jobs growth figures were revised upward for the two previous months.
Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the jobs report had "encouraging" elements, even as there were still some points of concern, such as the large number of people working part-time for economic reasons.
O'Hare said some equity investors are anxious the strong headline numbers in the labor report "could stir the Fed to raise the fed funds rate a bit sooner than expected."
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond jumped to 2.68 percent Thursday from 2.63 percent Wednesday, suggesting bond investors share that view. The 30-year yield climbed to 3.50 percent from 3.47 percent. Bond yields and prices move inversely.
In other economic news Thursday, the European Central Bank, as expected, held its benchmark interest rates unchanged. The Commerce Department reported that the US trade deficit fell to $44.4 billion in May, a bigger decline than analysts expected.
Banking stocks were winners in early trade with Bank of America (+1.8 percent), Citigroup (+1.2 percent) and Dow component JPMorgan Chase (+0.7 percent) all gaining.
Yoga attire maker Lululemon advanced 4.0 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson was reaching out to private-equity firms with an eye toward taking the company private.
Retailer PetSmart jumped 12.5 percent as activist investor Jana Partners disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in the company. Jana said it was exploring "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale of the company, according to a securities filing.
US markets will close at 1700 GMT Thursday, three hours ahead of normal due to the Independence Day holiday on Friday, when markets are closed.