Much better-than-expected jobs information despatched shares higher on Thursday as Wall Street cautiously cheered evidence that the economic climate, while still fragile, seems eager to bounce back again.
USA employers added 4.8 million jobs to their payrolls in June, the second straight month of job growth.
About 20 minutes after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.7 percent or more than 420 points at 26,162.66.
The S&P 500 gained 15.57 points to 3,115.86. Lerner cited the S&P 500's track record after its biggest quarterly gains since 1950 in a report Tuesday. The energy sector led the way, with Apache jumping 4.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 95.86 points, or 0.95 percent, to 10,154.63. The US drug maker Pfizer Inc said a COVID-19 vaccine being developed with German biotech firm BioNTech showed promise and was found to be well-tolerated in early-stage human trials. "It all points to a recovery that is clearly under way".
All three major indexes are on course to finish the week up at least 3.8%.
Smaller stocks rose more than the rest of the market, which often happens when investors are upgrading their expectations for the economy.
The unemployment rate declined 2.2% pts to 11.1%.
Health care stocks also rose.
Weekly unemployment claims data, which offer a more up-to-date view on the USA labor market, showed the number of new applications for jobless benefits fell by 55,000 to 1.43 million last week. Layoffs have averaged 1.5 million a week over the past four weeks.
Still, comments from Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious diseases expert, who said there was no guarantee the United States will have an effective COVID-19 vaccine and warned the virus spread "could get very bad", were a reminder that a full economic recovery could be a long road.
"Everybody is obviously watching the changes in the American labor market", said Florian Hense, an economist at Berenberg Bank.
USA stocks are poised to rise this quarter if history is any guide, according to Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Private Wealth Management.
US equities finished mixed on Wednesday as investors digested a slew of economic data.
Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group, said the June jobs report suggests the Paycheck Protection Program is starting to help.
Stocks that would benefit from the economy reopening were also under pressure. Apple, in contrast, notched a 0.7% gain.
The worst performers of the session were Walt Disney Company (NYSE:), which fell 0.73% or 0.83 points to trade at 112.18 at the close. Xerox Holdings surged 5.1%, Vulcan Materials rallied 3.2% and cosmetics company Coty added 3.4%.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500, and in June retained its top spot as the most globally invested stock, according to data from trading platform eToro. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 gained 2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 2.9% and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.1%.
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