The jobs picture "gives Bernanke more of a mandate" to rein in Fed stimulus programs, Brown said.
Investors will get other clues about the economy next week, when earnings season starts. Aluminum giant Alcoa reports second-quarter results after the market closes Monday
As investors bought stocks, they sold bonds Friday, another sign that they think the Fed will tamp down its bond buying. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped dramatically to 2.73 percent from late Wednesday's level of 2.51 percent. That was the highest yield for the 10-year note since August 2011.
Relatively few shares changed hands Friday because many traders were still on vacation after the Fourth of July holiday Thursday. Light volume may have contributed to the market's early volatility. The market can be moved by changes in even a relatively small numbers of shares.
Traders also noted that U.S. stock indexes were playing catch-up after missing out on Europe's big gains Thursday.
Stocks in Europe had jumped Thursday, including a 3 percent gain in Britain's main index, after the European Central Bank and the Bank of England sought to soothe markets by saying they'd keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future. Investors there have been scared that their own central banks may follow the Fed's lead and rein in their economic stimulus measures soon.
The calming effect didn't last long. Markets were down throughout Europe on Friday, as investors there fretted over whether the Fed would pull back.
As for U.S. government bond trading, investors have been selling 10-year Treasurys for weeks in anticipation of a Fed pullback. As recently as May 3, the yield on the 10-year note was 1.6 percent. The current yield, while still low by historical standards, has created a sea change in the way investors view bonds.
Jordan Waxman, managing director and partner at HighTower, a wealth management firm in New York, said investors who had fled to bonds because they seemed safe weren't exactly soothed by their recent performance.