NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks closed higher on Friday after a much anticipated jobs report lifted hopes that the US economic recovery was on the right track. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 128.36 points (1.24 percent) to 10,448.46 at the closing bell, extending gains since Monday on mostly positive economic data. The broader S&P 500 index gained 14.38 points (1.32pc) to 1,104.48 points while the tech-rich Nasdaq composite index climbed 33.74 points (1.53pc) to 2,233.75. The rally closed the weekly trade on all three indexes with robust gains, ending three straight weeks of drops. It is all about the unemployment data which came out better than expected, said Peter Cardillo, an analyst at Avalon Partners. In a closely-watched report, the Labor Department said Friday that the economy lost 54,000 jobs last month, a better figure than the 120,000 loss expected by economists, as the unemployment rate climbed to 9.6 percent, its highest level since May. However, the private sector created a much better-than-expected 67,000 jobs. In the wake of (Federal Reserve chief) Ben Bernankes comments last week and recent economic data, this report adds to the notion recovery is slow and tepid, but is underway, said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics. It was not great but could provide some boost to financial markets since the report was better-than-expected, he said. On Thursday, Wall Street made modest gains on the back of positive jobs and housing reports, extending the previous days boom on all indexes as traders breathed a sigh of relief after strong manufacturing data.