U.S. stocks finished the week strong as three unemployment reports this week offered no nasty surprises to market participants.

The S&P 500 Index closed up 15.72 points, or 1.40 percent, at 1,138.69.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 122.06 points, or 1.17 percent, at 10,566.20.

The S&P 500 closed at 1,104.49 a week ago.  Friday's close marks a gain of 34.2 points, or 3.1 percent for the week.

The S&P 500 made most of its gains on Monday and Friday.

The index was range-bound Tuesday through Thursday as investors anxiously waited for Friday's employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Larry Summers, a top Obama advisor, told viewers Monday on CNBC to look past whatever the next figures are for unemployment.  Summers asserted that the recent blizzards are likely to distort the statistics.

Some market participants feared that Summers expected gloomy unemployment data and was preemptively carrying out damage control.  

The actually unemployment reports, however, were mostly better than expected.

Wednesday's private non-farm payrolls report showed the least decline in two years.  Thursday's unemployment claims decreased for the first time in three weeks. 

Friday's Labor Department employment situation summary, considered the most important report on U.S. unemployment, showed a 9.7 percent unemployment rate and a 36,000 reduction in payrolls.

Compared to the prediction of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, both measures were better than expected. 

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