By mid-afternoon, the Dow Jones index was up 220 points, rising more than 1%, and climbed back above 18,000 for the first time since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. So far this year, Dow Jones stocks have risen about 4% (and 6% since their post-Brexit lows), though they still remain below their all time highs. At 18,120, the Dow is nearly 200 points below its record closing price of 18,312 on May 19, 2015.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rose more than 1% each on Friday. S&P 500 stocks have gained 4% year to date, while the Nasdaq is still down more than 1% in 2016.
Investors cheered the jobs report showing that the U.S. added 287,000 jobs in June, exceeding economists’ expectations by more than 100,000 jobs.
Almost all Dow Jones stocks rose on Friday, with equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) in the lead, up almost 3%. Shares of American Express (AXP) and Goldman Sachs (GS) gained nearly as much, bouncing back after a particularly harsh beating following Brexit.
Meanwhile, gun stocks such as Smith & Wesson (SWHC) also approached new highs after the shooting of Dallas police officers sparked a renewed gun control debate.
On the flip side, the only stocks to fall during the day were those that had been among the few winners after the British vote. Walmart (WMT), which was the only stock to rise immediately following Brexit, fell slightly after the jobs report. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), whose dividend and U.S.-focused business had lured investors amid the economic uncertainty over the past weeks, traded down Friday morning, but recovered in the afternoon.
If Monday proves as good to the market as Friday, stocks may well set new all time highs as soon as next week.