Stocks Head Higher on Better-than-Expected Jobs Figures

Stocks rose on Thursday following a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report as the economy tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its highs of the day, but still finished positive 92.39 points to close a short week at 25,827.36.

The S&P 500 gained 14.15 points to 3,130.01.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 53 points to 10,207.63, a new record high.

Boeing contributed to the gains, rising 0.6% after the airplane maker completed recertification flights for its grounded 737 Max jet.

Thursday’s gains led to strong weekly gains for the major averages. The Dow rose 3.3% this week and the S&P 500 climbed 4% in the same time period. It was the Dow and S&P 500's biggest weekly gains since June 5. The NASDAQ posited its best weekly performance since May 8, jumping 4.6% this week. U.S. markets will be closed on Friday for the July Fourth holiday.

The major averages, however, cut their gains after Florida reported a one-day spike of more than 10,000 coronavirus cases. The U.S. also reported a record of more than 50,000 cases in one day on Wednesday.

Stocks that would benefit from an economic reopening rolled over. United Airlines and American closed slightly lower after jumping earlier in the day. Cruise operators Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean were down at least 2.6% each.

The government’s June jobs report showed 4.8 million jobs were created. Economists were expecting 2.9 million jobs were created. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% from 13.3% in May. Economists were expecting a rate of 12.4%.

Last month, economists forecast a loss of eight million jobs in May and the economy gained 2.5 million payrolls instead.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims data was released Thursday morning.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims stateside rose by 1.427 million in the week ending June 27. Economists expected initial U.S. jobless claims to rise by another 1.38 million, down from 1.48 million the week earlier.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.67% from Wednesday’s 0.68%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices took on 44 cents to $40.26 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $7.70 to $1,787.60 U.S. an ounce.