NEW YORK >> Buoyed by a rise in afternoon trading, stocks reached record levels on Tuesday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed the previous high that was set just over a year ago.
The Dow jumped 21 points to 18,348 Tuesday, breaking the previous record that was set in May 2015. It came the day after the Standard & Poor's Index had ended at a new high.
The Nasdaq also closed in positive territory Tuesday for the first time this year.
The Dow rose 124 points, or 0.7 percent, to 18,351 at 3:11 p.m. eastern time, before dropping slightly by closing time. That 18,351 is 39 points higher than the Dow's closing high in May last year.
The Dow and Nasdaq also hit record intraday highs on Tuesday, with the Dow reaching an all-time high of 18,353,76 shortly before noon, according to Fortune.com.
According to CNN Money, the catalyst for the recent big market gains has been the surprisingly strong June jobs report, which was released last Friday. The positive news dramatically eased fears that a slowdown in the U.S. economy was coming, which had been exacerbated following May's weak jobs forecast.
The Dow has gone up more than 400 points since Friday morning, according to CNN Money.
Aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off the second quarter earnings season on a positive note by reporting revenue and earnings that beat Wall Street expectations. The stock jumped 48 cents, or 5 percent, to $10.62. Earnings for the all of the S&P 500 is expected to fall compared to the year ago period, but then rise in the next quarter.
Seagate Technology surged $5.18, or 22 percent, to $29.27 after forecasting strong sales. It also announced it will cut 6,500 jobs, about 14 percent of its total.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.5 percent, a day after soaring 4 percent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised new government spending to help jolt Asia's second-biggest economy back to life now that his Liberal Democratic Party has won in parliamentary elections. Investors are betting he'll keep flooding the market with money by expanding bond purchases.
"The combination of very low interest rates and modest earnings going forward and supportive central banks and now some indication of fiscal stimulus in Japan — the third largest economy — this is a mix that stock investors can support," said James Russell, portfolio manager at investment firm Bayle & Gaynor. "Investors are heartened."
Oil drillers and other energy companies are rising on a jump in oil prices. Southwestern Energy jumped 10 percent, adding $1.29 to $14.19.
South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent.
France's CAC 40 rose 1.6 percent and Germany's DAX added 1.3 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat. Shares of Nintendo Co. jumped 12.7 percent in Tokyo.