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  • The S&P 500 added 0.5%, its fourth-straight gain and ended the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%.
  • The NASDAQ made another all-time high, aided by more gains in technology companies.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 92.39 points, or 0.4%, to 25,827.36.

Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday with markets responding positively to the US labour market release.

The US job market continues to climb out of the crater created by the coronavirus pandemic and the data mirrored other data suggesting that the economy is recovering quicker than median expectations.

The S&P 500 added 0.5%, its fourth-straight gain and ended the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%. The NASDAQ unofficially closes up 49.31 points, or 0.49%, at 10,203.94  to another all-time high, aided by more gains in technology companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 92.39 points, or 0.4%, to 25,827.36.

Energy companies notched some of the biggest gains as oil prices strengthened on hopes that a recovering economy will mean more demand.

However, worries about the virus outbreak tempered the mood to some extent. News that Florida had another sharp increase in confirmed cases helped cut the S&P 500′s early gains by more than half. 

“In June, Florida infections rose by 168% or over 95,000 new cases,” Reuters reported on the matter. “The percent of tests coming back positive has skyrocketed to 15% from 4% at the end of May.”

The indexes were up even more at the start of the day’s trading after the US government said employers added 4.8 million jobs to their payrolls in June for the second-straight month of growth.

The US economy is getting back to work

 The US labour market followed the lead of other data in June, showing the economy is getting back to work. In June 4.8m jobs were added following an upwardly revised 2.7m in May – that’s a 33% recovery.

The unemployment rate declined 2.2% pts to 11.1%. Employment at food and drinking places rose 1.5m. Retail employment rose 740k and in education and health it rose 568k. Manufacturing jobs lifted 356k (still 757k below February levels).

That’s all good news, but the labour market is recovering at a slower pace than the headline PMI data. Further, July could see the recovery in jobs slow given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, shelved plans for further economic reopenings, and renewed restrictions in some states. Employment in June was 9.6% below its February level with 14.6m jobs yet to return. There is still a long way to go.

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