NEW YORK — Stocks closed out a historic week with another day of gains Friday, as the Dow Jones industrial average hit yet another record high close on a jobs report that surpassed even the most optimistic forecasts.
The S&P 500-stock index climbed for its sixth straight day, putting it less than 1 percent from an all-time closing high. The benchmark S&P index rose for its ninth positive week out of the past 10. All three major stock indexes racked up their biggest weekly gains since the first week of the year.
Hiring in the United States jumped in February with non-farm payrolls adding 236,000 last month, surging past expectations for a gain of 160,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008.
“This was a lot higher than anyone was expecting, and it definitely shines light on the fact that the economy is improving,” said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of U.S. equities at Deutsche Bank Asset and Wealth Management in New York.
For the year, the Dow is up 9.9 percent, while the S&P 500 is up 8.8 percent, and the Nasdaq is up about 7.5 percent.
The day’s gains were offset by a decline in some bank shares in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s “stress test” results. While the results were largely positive and as expected, with the Fed saying the biggest U.S. banks had enough capital to withstand a severe economic downturn, investors took the opportunity to book profits in the group.
Bank of America fell 1.6 percent to $12.07. Goldman Sachs Group dropped 2.3 percent to $152.98 and ranked as the S&P 500’s biggest percentage decliner. While Goldman met the minimum Tier 1 common capital ratio that the Fed tested for, it had one of the lowest outcomes above the threshold. Citigroup had the highest Tier 1 common capital ratio, according to the Fed’s results; its stock jumped 3.7 percent to $46.68.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67.58 points, or 0.5 percent, to 14,397.07, another record closing high. The S&P 500 advanced 6.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1551.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 12.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 3244.37.
For the week, both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed up 2.2 percent, while the Nasdaq rose 2.4 percent. It was the best weekly performance for all three since the first week of the year.
The stock market is drawing in more investors as it continues to surge. Investors put $3.2 billion into stock mutual funds in the week ending Wednesday, data provider Lipper reported Friday. That’s the ninth straight week of net inflows to stock funds, bringing this year’s total to $59 billion.