(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Monday with the Nasdaq hitting a new intraday high after a surprisingly upbeat jobs report last week raised expectations of a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn.
If the Nasdaq closes at an all-time high above 9,817.18 set on Feb. 19, it would confirm a bull market began on March 23, according to a widely accepted definition. The Nasdaq is the first of the Wall Street’s three main indexes to bounce back from the market crash caused by the pandemic.
It hit an intraday high of 9896.978 on Monday.
A closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday showed an unexpected fall in unemployment rate, bolstering views that the worst of the economic damage from the virus outbreak was over.
“With the U.S. economy continuing to open and with New York City beginning an important reopening, the market is absorbing that, and what’s important is without a significant uptick in virus-related hopitalizations or deaths, the consumer is becoming increasingly optimistic,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
The energy sector climbed the most among the 11 major S&P sectors as major oil producers agreed over the weekend to extend a deal on record output cuts.
Beaten-down shares of cruise operators Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd continued to recover. The S&P 1500 airlines index jumped more than 6%.
Planemaker Boeing Co also jumped, extending its recent surge.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 324.75 points, or 1.2%, to 27,435.73, the S&P 500 gained 25.36 points, or 0.79%, to 3,219.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 75.14 points, or 0.77%, to 9,889.23.
The focus this week will be on the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, ending on Wednesday, where the jobs report will most likely be discussed.
It would be the first meeting since April when Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy could feel the weight of the economic shutdown for more than a year.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.95-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.81-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 17 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 76 new highs and no new lows.
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