Today: Another month of booming job growth sends Dow Jones higher than 17,000 for the first time.

The Lead: Another strong jobs report sends Wall Street to record highs

The United States labor market closed out a monster second quarter by adding nearly 300,000 new jobs, dropping the unemployment rate to its lowest reading in six years and pushing Wall Street indexes to record highs Thursday.

The Labor Department reported Thursday morning that 288,000 new jobs were created in June, the fifth consecutive month that the U.S. added more than 200,000 jobs, the first such streak in the 21st century. The unemployment rate fell from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, its lowest point since the Great Recession began destroying the U.S. economy in the fall of 2008.

"The labor market is literally exploding," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, told Bloomberg News. "It's a full-on expansion. The economy is creating millions of jobs."

Investors celebrated the news by pushing the Dow Jones industrial average atop 17,000 for the first time in the blue-chip index's history, while the Standard & Poor's 500 also reached record highs and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index posted its highest total since the dot-com boom went bust in 2000,

"The stock market has more than recovered from levels seen during the financial crisis more than five years ago," Scott Wren, a senior equity strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors, wrote in a research note. "Slow and steady can win the race; and it has."


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Booming job growth has allowed the U.S. to replace all the jobs lost during the Great Recession, though more than half of states are trailing their pre-recession marks. In the Bay Area, Silicon Valley's hiring strength put it ahead of the U.S. trend, with job growth strong yet down from the year before through the first five months of the year.

Economists' next hope for the labor market is increased wage growth. Pay has risen in line with inflation at about 2 percent since the recession, while longer term trends are higher, at 3.5 percent.

"The stark reality remains that Americans are still not seeing much purchasing power, and unless we see a more meaningful acceleration in incomes the next few months to offset higher inflation, a slowdown in consumer spending (and thus economic activity) is inevitable," Economic Outlook Group economist Bernard Baumohl wrote in a note.

SV150 market report: Silicon Valley stocks grow after Web reports

Silicon Valley technology stocks grew in line with the gains for Wall Street's main indexes Thursday, in a shortened session ahead of the three-day holiday weekend.

Internet stocks faced a conflicted study on the Web's future and a positive report on investor optimism. A study by the Pew Research Internet Project found that Web experts are greatly concerned about the future of the Internet, with worries including blocking of content by nations and surveillance of users' activity on the Web. "Some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows," the study read. Meanwhile, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Victor Anthony published a note detailing Web stocks' rebound from a bloodbath in early May, which also disappeared in the full tech sector, thanks to Apple and other stocks.

Silicon Valley's largest Web company, Google, gained 0.4 percent to $593.08 while detailing to news organizations what links they have been delisting to deal with the recent "right to be forgotten" court ruling in Europe. Facebook fell 0.2 percent to $66.29 while continuing to deal with fallout from a study on the site's users, and rival Twitter dropped 1.1 percent to $41.33. San Mateo action-camera company GoPro continued to sink back to earth after a rapid run-up following its initial public offering, dropping 1.1 percent to $41.58.

Up: NetApp, Symantec, Netflix, Intuit, Adobe, Oracle, Gilead, Nvidia, eBay, VMware, LinkedIn, Yahoo, SanDisk, Cisco, Apple

Down: Splunk, AMD, SunPower, Workday, GoPro, SolarCity, Twitter, Pandora, Yelp, Juniper

The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: 1536.56 +8.29 (+0.54

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: 4,485.92 +28.19 (0.63

The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: 17,068.26 +92.02 (0.54

And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: 1,985.44 +10.82 (0.55

Programming note: Biz Break will take July Fourth off along with Wall Street and return Monday, July 7.

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