U.S. indices were continuing their upward trend on Friday, following up a Thursday session that saw the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq all rise at least 0.5%.
A strong February jobs report and rising crude prices are providing the tailwinds necessary to lift markets higher at week's close.
The latest nonfarm payrolls report was released Friday, with data showing the U.S. economy added 242,000 jobs in February, bringing the labor force participation rate to 62.9%. Analysts on average were expecting payrolls to rise by just 190,000. Unemployment remained unchanged at 4.9%. January's jobs report was also revised upward to 172,000 jobs added from 151,000.
Read what the jobs report could mean for interest rate hikes in 2016
Meanwhile, crude prices are continuing their climb today with industry standard Brent crude for April delivery rising $1.30 to $38.37 per barrel while West Texas crude climbs $1.09 to $35.66 per barrel
Action Alerts PLUS holding Bank of America (BAC) is leading stocks higher, up 1.4% on heavy volume.
Shares of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) are spiking 20% after U.S. investigators moved to dismiss charges against the company's recently deceased former CEO Aubrey McClendon. McClendon died in a car crash on Wednesday morning, one day after he was officially indicted by the Department of Justice for bid-rigging.
Read how social media reacted to McClendon's tragic death
Petrobras (PBR) is also up big on heavy volume Friday after Brazilian officials took former president Lula da Silva in for questioning for his involvement in a corruption scandal that has rocked the South American country.
Staples (SPLS) was falling today after the office supplies retailer missed analysts' fourth-quarter earnings expectations of $0.28 per share by two cents. Comps were also down and revenue missed the mark during the period.
Read what Staples earnings miss means for ODP merger
Finally, Tidewater (TDW) continues to jump Friday after a World Bank tribunal partially lifted the suspension of a monetary judgement in Tidewater's favor. The company stands to see $27.4 million of a $46.4 million judgement.