US STOCKS-Wall St hits record on payrolls report lift
* 255,000 jobs added in July vs forecast 180,000
* S&P 500's financial index trading at 2016 high
* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 0.77 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct (Updates to late afternoon, changes byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were on track for their best day in a month on Friday, with the S&P 500 touching a record intraday high after a second straight month of robust labor market data heightened expectations for acceleration in economic growth.
The U.S. Labor Department report showed that nonfarm payrolls rose by 255,000 in July, far outpacing expectations for a gain of 180,000.
While the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent, it held below the 5 percent mark associated with full employment.
The S&P 500 reached 2,182.33, its ninth record intraday high since July, powered by a 1.8 percent gain in financials, which would be primed for profit increases should the Federal Reserve raise interest rates.
JPMorgan Chase shares gained 2.8 percent to $66.34 and the financial index reached its highest level of the year. Continuación...