The Dow Jones industrial average today punched through the 17,000 benchmark for the first time, closing at a record 17,068, an increase of 92 points, because of strong U.S. job numbers for June.

The U.S. jobs report released Thursday showed record hiring in June and an unemployment rate at its lowest level since September 2008.

The Toronto TSX/S&P index, which closed at a record on Wednesday, continued its upward climb in the morning, but had closed down 2.68 points to 15,207.11. The TSX was held back in part by gold stocks as bullion prices retreated.

The Canadian dollar went as high as 94.10 cents US, up 0.35 of a cent from Wednesday's close, its strongest level of the year. It closed up 0.24 of a cent to 93.99 cents US. 

The stock market ebullience comes after a string of data reports released this week that showed exports and manufacturing improving in both Canada and the U.S. 

Canada's manufacturing sector was showing signs of a solid recovery in June, with new business growth at the strongest level yet seen in 2014, according to an RBC survey of purchasing managers released Wednesday. 

On Thursday morning, trade figures released from both Canada and the U.S. showed exports expanding by 3.5 per cent in Canada as the auto sector and energy exports rebound. The U.S. also narrowed its trade deficit, an indication the economy is surging ahead after a weak first quarter in which the economy contracted by 2.9 per cent.

The jobs data helped persuade investors that the second-quarter performance will be much more impressive.

The Dow index was up just 0.54 per cent on the day, and closed early because of the July 4 holiday.

The index crossed 14,000 on Feb. 1, 2013, a big milestone because hadn't traded above 14,000 since October 2007, when the financial crisis began. But it went on to power through 15,000 and 16,000 later in 2013 as stocks were buoyed by a period of sustained low interest rates.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 1,985. The Nasdaq composite gained 28 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 4,485.

PetSmart was one of Thursday's most active stocks, jumping 13 per cent, after the activist investor Jana Partners disclosed it had taken a 9.9 per cent stake in the company. 

With files from the Associated Press