Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS

The stock market was on fire today after investor confidence increased after two promising reports on the job market were released. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 94 points or 0.7%, closing at 12,720. The S&P 500 gained 14 points or 1.1%, closing at 1,353. The Nasdaq gained 39 points or 1.4%, closing at 2.873.

Retail stocks climbed today after several large chains reported higher-than-expected June sale. The best S&P 500 performers included Kohl's, Target, Urban Outfitters, and Macy's.

Financial stocks also saw strong gains. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and American Express topped the Dow performers.

The government reported that 418,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits week ended July 2, falling by 11,000 to 418,000. This figure is significantly lower than the 425,000 economists surveyed by had expected.

Payroll services firm ADP said that private sector employers added 157,000 jobs in June. Expectations were met and exceeded.