U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average refreshing its 2011 high in early session, after government report showed U.S. jobs market were recovering at a stronger pace.
According to the closely watched monthly payrolls report released by the Labor Department, about 216,000 new jobs were added to the economy in March, offsetting layoffs in local governments.
The report also showed companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since the recession began, dragging down the unemployment rate down to 8.8 percent, the lowest since March 2009.
While checking the gains, the report indicated that economic activity in the manufacturing sector continued to expand, but lost some momentum in March.
The Institute for Supply Management said the Purchasing Managers Index slipped a little bit to 61.2 in March, after hitting its highest level of 61.4 since May 2004 during February.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that construction spending fell in February to its lowest level since 1999, adding to the pressures in the market.