US stocks surged as markets opened Thursday following a pair of reports on employment in the United States that beat economists' expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 66.49 points (0.53 percent) to 12,692.51 in the first 20 minutes of trading.
The broader S&P 500 rallied 9.87 points (0.74 percent) to 1,349.09, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 21.70 points (0.77 percent) to 2,855.72.
Stocks jumped after the publication of the monthly ADP National Employment Report, which showed that private non-farm businesses added 157,000 jobs from May to June, a solid jump after the 36,000 increase from April to May.
Meanwhile the US Labor Department said unemployment claims fell slightly to 418,000 in the week to July 2 from 432,000 a week earlier.
"Today's reports on weekly jobless claims and ADP payrolls data could provide additional fuel for the bulls, who seem willing to rally on any upbeat news," said Sarah Wasserman, an analyst with Schaeffer's Investment Research.
Investors are also eagerly awaiting Friday's release of the official US unemployment figure, one of the most closely watched barometers of the strength of the world's largest economy.
Shares of NYSE Euronext gained 2.1 percent after the company's shareholders approved a merger with Deutsche Boerse to form the biggest stock exchange operator in the world.
On the Nasdaq, Chinese social-networking site Renren surged 10.7 percent in early trading, rebounding after its shares were battered in recent weeks by fallout from accounting scandals at other Chinese companies.
Bond prices fell in the wake of an increase of the key euro interest rate by the European Central Bank. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note rose to 3.16 percent from 3.10 percent late Wednesday, while that on the 30-year bond climbed to 4.39 percent from 4.35 percent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.