NEW YORK, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its ninth straight record close, as investors continued to cheer on better-than-expected employment data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.61 points, or 0.12 percent, to 22,118.42. The S&P 500 gained 4.08 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,480.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 32.21 points, or 0.51 percent, to 6,383.77.
U.S. total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, well above market expectations, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department Friday.
"Because last July's job growth was the second strongest of the year, the 12-month average of job creation actually dropped a bit, which puts this month's report very nicely into perspective. All the key data were stronger than expected, but none were really all that strong," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN, told Xinhua in a note.
Traders kept close eye on nonfarm payroll report and tried to find clues on when the Federal Reserve might start the balance sheet reduction and increase interest rate.
In corporate news, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group on Monday unveiled a joint venture with Marriott International to allow Chinese travelers to book Marriott hotels through Alibaba's travel service website and app.
Shares of Alibaba soared 3.59 percent to close at 158.84 U.S. dollars a share on Monday, while Marriot stocks rose 1.10 percent to close at 106.17 U.S. dollars a share.
Moreover, investors were awaiting more earnings reports this week. Latest data from Thomson Reuters showed that the S&P 500 companies' blended earnings in the second quarter of 2017 are expected to rise 11.8 percent year on year, while the revenues are forecast to increase 5.0 percent.