US STOCKS-Wall Street closes higher after biggest payrolls jump on record

US STOCKS-Wall Street closes higher after biggest payrolls jump on record

Reuters  | Jul 03, 2020 04:10

US STOCKS-Wall Street closes higher after biggest payrolls jump on record

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ or type
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(Updates to market close)
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street closed higher and
the Nasdaq reached an all-time closing high on Thursday as
investors headed into their long holiday weekend buoyed by a
record surge in payrolls, which provided assurance that the U.S.
economic recovery was well under way.
All three major U.S. stock averages advanced, with the
benchmark S&P 500 posting its fourth straight daily gain.
Massive stimulus and hopes for a speedy economic rebound
have returned the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to about 7% and 12%
below their record highs reached in February.
The indexes registered strong gains for the week.
The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs USNFAR=ECI in June
according to the Labor Department, 1.8 million more than
analysts expected, setting a second consecutive record.
Massive rehiring sent the unemployment rate USUNR=ECI down
to 11.1%. "There was a lot to like in economic data for the week,"
said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management
in Chicago. "And there's still talk that there will be more
stimulus from Washington after they get back from the Fourth of
July break."
Still, even with May and June's consecutive record payroll
gains, the labor market has still recovered only a fraction of
the 22 million jobs lost in the March-April plunge.
The recovery of the U.S. economy, now in its sixth month of
recession, could stall as new cases of COVID-19 hit record
levels and several states hit hardest by the resurgence halted
or reversed plans to reopen their economies.
On Thursday, Florida reported a record-shattering 10,000 new
cases of the disease, worse than any European country reported
at the peak of their outbreaks. "With the spikes (in new COVID-19 cases) we've seen the
larger states - Texas, California and Florida - those states
have taken steps to turn back their re-opening plans," Nolte
added. "And that will slow the overall growth and consumer
spending in those regions."
In the coming weeks, market participants will train their
focus on second-quarter reporting season. In aggregate, analysts
now expect S&P earnings to have dropped by 43.1% as companies
grappled with plunging demand and disrupted supply chains.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose
97.05 points, or 0.38%, to 25,832.02, the S&P 500 .SPX gained
14.23 points, or 0.46%, to 3,130.09 and the Nasdaq Composite
.IXIC added 55.38 points, or 0.55%, to 10,210.01.
Tesla Inc's TSLA.O shares surged after the electric car
maker's second-quarter vehicle deliveries beat Wall Street

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