The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 17,000 for the first time as data showed employers added more workers than projected in June and the European Central Bank disclosed details of its stimulus plans.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and MetLife Inc. advanced at least 1.5 percent, pacing gains among banks and insurance companies. Paccar Inc. added 5.4 percent amid speculation that the maker of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks may receive takeover interest from Volkswagen AG. PetSmart Inc. jumped 13 percent after Jana Partners LLC disclosed a new activist stake. Lululemon Athletica Inc. gained 2.9 percent after a report that the yoga-wear company has explored a buyout by a private-equity firm.
The Dow gained 92.02 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,068.26 as equities markets closed at 1 p.m. Thursday before the Independence Day holiday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to a record 1,985.44. About 3.5 billion shares changed hands on exchanges. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed two basis points to 2.65 percent.
It took the Dow 227 days to cross the 17,000 mark after surpassing 16,000 for the first time on Nov. 18. Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, Walt Disney Co., the biggest entertainment company, and computer-chip maker Intel Corp., led the advance, rising more than 20 percent.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last month that accommodative monetary policy, rising property and equity prices and the improving global economy should lead to above-trend growth. The Fed has kept its benchmark rate near zero since December 2008.
ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated Thursday that he’ll keep interest rates low as officials try to revive the region’s economy with a new round of emergency measures.
Draghi gave some details on the new targeted-loan program that includes lending to banks under the condition they lend the money on to households and companies. He estimated that banks could take up as much as 1 trillion euros ($1.36 trillion) in the two initial tenders and a series of quarterly auctions.
“I’m confident that banks will quickly understand that even though it’s complicated, it’s also quite attractive,” he said.
“All eyes should be focused not on the jobs number, but on what Mario Draghi says,” Chad Morganlander, a money manager at St. Louis-based Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., which oversees about $160 billion, said in a phone interview.
Life insurers like Lincoln National Corp. and MetLife benefit from climbing bond yields, which allow them to invest clients’ premiums and maturing securities at higher interest rates. MetLife added 2 percent to $57.22 and Lincoln National increased 2.1 percent to $53.28. Goldman Sachs added 1.5 percent to $169.46 for the biggest advance in the Dow.
Paccar rose 5.4 percent to $67.25. Volkswagen spokeswoman Christine Ritz said by telephone that the largest European carmaker “clearly denies” an interest in bidding for the Bellevue, Washington-based company. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Max Warburton said in a note that Wolfgang Bernhard, chief of the truck unit at Daimler AG, said at an event Wednesday with analysts that Volkswagen may bid for Paccar.