US stocks end at records following strong economic data

US stocks advanced, with each of the major US indexes notching record highs, after a batch of economic data suggested the economy was picking up speed.VIDEO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks powered to fresh records on Thursday (June 1) following a batch of mostly strong economic data that raised expectations for Friday's US jobs report.

All three major indices finished at records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.7 per cent to close at 21,144.18.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent to end the session at 2,430.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8 per cent to 6,246.83.

Investors were cheered by news US companies added 253,000 jobs last month, reported by payrolls firm ADP. That was well above the 180,000 forecast by analysts, and boosted expectations the Labour Department's May jobs report Friday also will show a strong gain.

US manufacturing data remained solid in May, while US car sales fell again, a decline that many analysts expected.

"The data has proven in large part to be stronger than expected," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"You have a fundamental story that seems to be continuing to improve as we head into the late spring."

The records came on the heels of two consecutive down days on Wall Street. Although investors have become more cautious on the likelihood that President Donald Trump would win tax cuts and other growth measures, strengthening earnings and economic data have boosted confidence.

Analysts said Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, announced shortly before the market closed, already was baked into the market and did not have clear a short-term market-moving impact.

Thursday's rally was fairly broad-based and led by financial and health sectors, with stocks linked to consumer products and materials also strong.