Stocks rise on jobs data, S&P 500 ends week with solid gain

Andrew Cummings
July 4, 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 580.25 points, or 2.3%, to 25,595.80.

Globally, stocks also traded higher. Energy stocks also notched solid gains.

A recent rise in coronavirus infections - which has paused or reversed reopening plans in some states - could dampen next month's employment gains.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), the frontrunner in the vaccine race, fell 4.9% on news the drugmaker will delay a clinical trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

All three major U.S. stock averages advanced, with the benchmark S&P 500 posting its fourth straight daily gain. The S&P 500 climbed 14 points (+0.45%) to 3130, and the Nasdaq 100 was up 62 points (+0.61%) to 10341, another record close. That gives investors hope that the economy can recover from its recession relatively quickly as governments relax restrictions.

The NASDAQ made another all-time high, aided by more gains in technology companies. The Nasdaq climbed 0.5% to 10,207.63.

Travel-related stocks were also among the biggest gainers in premarket trade, with cruise line operators Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd rising more than 4%.

Many workers across the country are still experiencing economic pain, with only about a third of the 22 million jobs lost to the recession recovered so far.

Investors said they would be looking to see if rising employment numbers result in an uptick in consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-third of USA economic activity.

Still, some investors noted, many potential obstacles to a full economic recovery loom - which may make any stock market rally more bumpy in the future. Such concerns have held the market in check since early June following a months-long rocket ride.

Earlier on Thursday, stocks climbed across Asia.

And the United States is still losing jobs, the Labor Department said in a separate report showing 1.43 million people filing initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, only slightly less than the prior week. Initial Jobless claims declined to 1.427 million for the week ended June 27 (1.350 million expected), while Continuing Claims increased to 19.290 million for the week ending June 20 (19.000 million expected).

The number of applications for jobless benefits filed every week has come down from a peak of almost 7 million in late March, but has stabilized near a historically high 1.5 million, an indication that companies are continuing to cut jobs.

Noble Energy (NASDAQ:NBL) Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG) led the sector higher.

They benefited from a 0.7% rise for USA crude oil to $40.10 per barrel.

Bond investors were showing less enthusiasm, though.

The stock market will be closed on Friday in observance of the Fourth of July holiday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 0.67%. The move marked a blow to the drugmaker's expectations to deliver key data from the trial by Thanksgiving.

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