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The blue-chip index registered its 34th record for 2017 to finish above the 22,000 threshold yet again. The Dow ended in the green for nine straight trading days, the highest since February. Goldman Sachs contributed the most gains towards such a stellar performance from the index. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also ended in the green. These gains were the result of the announcement by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the US created 209,000 jobs for the month of July. Such robust economic conditions boosted investor sentiment and there were broad based gains for markets.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) The blue-chip index closed at 22,092.81, an all-time high, rising by 0.3% or 66.71 points in the process. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.2%, rising 4.67 points to close at 2,476.83. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,351.56, gaining 11.22 points or 0.2%. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,499 to 1,245. On the Nasdaq, advancers outnumbered decliners by 1,542 to 1,130.

Jobless Rate Touches A 16-year Low

US Stocks closed on a high on Friday and this was primarily because of an astounding number of job additions in the economy. A total of 209,000 new jobs were created within the States. In the past two months alone, there have been a total of 450,000 new jobs added to the economy. This has slashed the current level of unemployment to 4.3% from 4.4% last month. Such an excellent number has surpassed the economist’s expectation of 175,000 new job additions. This boosted the DOW and it closed on a new high and registered its 34th straight record so far in 2017. The bond yields also fell and the value of dollar also increased. Such robust economy implies that the Fed might soon start unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Sectors Which Employed the Most

As more Americans take home paychecks, the US economy is stabilizing which implies an increase in consumer spending. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bulk of the new jobs was primarily from professional firms, health-care providers and restaurants and bars. Broadly encouraging economic conditions led to companies hiring more number of workers and amidst a shortage of skilled labor. Despite the low levels of unemployment, wages haven’t increased much, rising 0.3% in July to an average of $26.36 an hour. Over the past 12 months, wages increased 2.5% year to date till July. In a healthier economy, wages generally increase 3% to 4% but such a low rise has been due to a plethora of reasons including, low productivity and a reluctance among Americans to change jobs. This is partly due to a huge number of job losses during the Great Recession.

There were about 53,000 new hires in restaurants and bars across the US in July. The white-collar jobs were mainly offered by professional firms, hiring 49,000 people. On the other hand, healthcare sector hired as many as 39,000 people. Together these sectors added 70% of the total number of new jobs. Other industries which added only a small number of jobs include mining, manufacturing and construction. Although the retailers increased hiring, they actually lost jobs in the last 12 months for the first time since 2010.

Weekly Results

For the week, the DOW increased 1.2%, marking its second straight weekly rise and finishing in the positive territory four out of five past weeks. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% whereas the Nasdaq declined 0.4%. The Dow surpassed the 22,000 milestone riding high on performances from Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) , JP Morgan (JPM - Free Report) and 3M (MMM - Free Report) . Boeing (BA - Free Report) added 300 points to the blue chip index since February and helped it cross the psychological milestone. The S&P 500 closed in the green due to broadly encouraging economic conditions and also strong earnings from Apple (AAPL - Free Report) . The Nasdaq continued its lackluster performance due to tech overvaluation issue.

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