US STOCKS-Payrolls power Wall St to record high
* 255,000 U.S. jobs added in July vs forecast 180,000
* S&P 500 financial index trading at 2016 high
* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 0.77 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct (Updates to market close)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks notched their best day in a month on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing at record highs after a second straight month of robust labor market data boosted optimism that economic growth is accelerating.
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 ended at 2,182.87, its eighth closing high of the year, powered by a 1.9 percent gain in financials, which would be primed for a profit boost should the Federal Reserve raise interest rates.
JPMorgan Chase shares gained 2.7 percent to $66.30 and the financial index closed at its highest level of the year. Continuación...