The slingshot move higher in stocks the past two weeks has carried exchange traded funds that invest in U.S. small-cap stocks back near their record high.

The iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEArca: IWM) rallied nearly 2% in midday action Thursday after an upbeat ADP employment report raised expectations for Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for June.

The popular small-cap ETF nearly touched $86 a share on Thursday. Its all-time high of $86.81 was recorded this spring.

Similarly, in mid-cap stocks, SPDR S&P MidCap 400 (NYSEArca: MDY) is also back flirting with its record high.

The story is different in the large-cap segment, however. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are still well below their 2007 peak.

Small-cap stocks historically have outperformed over longer time periods, although with more volatility. They often lead the early stages of a bull market. Traders will be watching to see if they can push through to fresh highs on the hope that large-caps will follow.

iShares Russell 2000

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