NEW YORK, June 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks held gains Friday, propelling a record rally for three days in a row, after the country released an upbeat nonfarm payroll report for May in the day.
The S&P 500 kept its upward momentum in the day, hitting a new all-time high of 1,949.44 points at the close, up 8.98 points, or 0.46 percent, after the benchmark index had logged record highs in eight of the past nine sessions.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average also touched an all- time high of 16,924.28 points at the close, up 88.17 points, or 0. 52 percent, within a striking distance of the round number of 17, 000 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 25.17 points, or 0. 59 percent, to 4,321.40.
The closely-watched jobs report came out above market expectations, providing further evidence that the U.S. labor market remains on its recovering path, which ignited investors' risky appetite for stocks.
Total nonfarm payroll employment added 217,000 in May, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.3 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists had expected the payroll number to increase 213,000 and the jobless rate to rise to 6.4 percent from 6.3 percent in April.
"The May employment report was the most as-expected we can remember .. The unemployment rate was unchanged, a tenth lower than expected, but not enough to be exciting," a research note by FTN Financial said Friday. "The jobs report confirms the Q2 rebound narrative. Average job growth in the first two months of Q2 is almost 250,000. Growth in aggregate hours worked is consistent with 5 percent GDP growth, though measures of demand suggest it will be closer to 3 percent."
The three indices wrapped up the first week of June on a strong note, with Dow and the S&P 500 logging the first three-week winning streak this year, up 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, and the Nasdaq rising 1.9 percent.