Jobs data was encouraging, but not overwhelming. Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported the economy added 188,000 private sector jobs in June, but the firm said manufacturing added only 1,000 new positions. The bulk of the new jobs were in service-oriented companies.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 56.14 points, or 0.38 percent, to 14,988.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 1.33 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 1,615.41. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index gained 10.27 points, 0.3 percent, to reach 3,443.67.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,181 issues advanced and 1,829 declined on a volume of 1.9 billion shares, a light day with markets closing at 1 p.m. in New York.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index shed 43.18 points, 0.31 percent, to 14,055.56.
Britain's FTSE 100 index shed 1.17 percent, or 74.07 points, to 6,229.87.
The 10-year treasury note dropped 7/32 to yield 2.506 percent.
On currency markets, the euro fell to $1.3011. Against the yen, the dollar was lower at 99.84 yen.
Gold added $9, or 0.72 percent, to $1,252.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division.
In after-hours trading, crude oil prices added $1.54 to $101.14 per barrel on the York Mercantile Exchange.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn dropped 1 3/4 cents to hit $5.01, November soybeans gained 7 1/4 cents to $12.49 3/4 and wheat for September contracts added 6 1/4 cents to $6.64 1/2.
Markets are closed Thursday for Independence Day.