(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes jumped on Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite less than 1% away from a record high, after a closely watched report showed surprise job additions in May, lending weight to hopes of a faster economic rebound from a coronavirus-led slump.
Data from the Labor Department showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 2.509 million jobs last month after a record plunge of 20.687 million in April, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 13.3% in May from 14.7% in April.
“It’s shocking, it’s a refreshing thing to experience, a very positive and a far better-than-expected report,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
“The unemployment rate was likely to peak in May and then get better from there, but it looks as though it might have peaked in April, which is a very positive development for the economy.”
The S&P 500 banks sub-index, considered interest-rate sensitive, jumped 4.8% as U.S. Treasury yields rose after the data. [US/]
Boeing Co gained 9.2%, the biggest boost to the Dow Jones index, on hopes of a pickup in air travel a day after American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines said they would boost their U.S. flight schedule next month.
The NYSE ARCA Airline index also jumped 12.9%.
Wall Street has rebounded sharply from a coronavirus-driven crash in March as investors bet on a revival in business activity following the easing of a nationwide lockdown.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes are now down about 6% and 9%, respectively, from their all-time highs.
At 10:03 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 684.41 points, or 2.60%, at 26,966.23, the S&P 500 was up 66.68 points, or 2.14%, at 3,179.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 157.01 points, or 1.63%, at 9,772.83.
Fears of more disruptions from social unrest have also eased in the past two days, with the largely peaceful protests against the killing of a black man in police custody waning into Friday morning and emergency curfews in many cities being lifted.
Vaccine maker Novavax Inc jumped 7.2% after saying it would receive up to $60 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to fund manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Apparel retailer Gap Inc fell 4.5% as it reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion due to coronavirus-induced store closures.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 8.81-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 4.91-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and no new low.
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