New York: US stocks extended gains on Friday after the country's jobless data hit the lowest level in over three years and home sales soared to the highest level in 19 months, Xinhua reports.

According to the US Labor Department Thursday, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000.

However, the four-week moving average, which was regarded as a better measure of trends, fell by 5,750 to 375,000. The reading was the lowest level since June 2008.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday that US pending home sales agreements jumped 7.3 percent last month to a reading of 100.1.

The reading was the highest level in 19 months.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 99.34 points, or 0.82 percent, to 12,250.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 9.55 points, or 0.76 percent, to 1,259.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 16.34 points, or 0.63 percent, to 2,606.22.

(Agencies)