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US: Nasdaq again closes at record, Dow +0.4%

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Wall Street shrugged off surging coronavirus cases to end a shortened trading week with gains Thursday, fueled by an unexpectedly healthy US jobs report that bolstered hopes the economy is recovering.

[NEW YORK] Wall Street shrugged off surging coronavirus cases to end a shortened trading week with gains Thursday, fueled by an unexpectedly healthy US jobs report that bolstered hopes the economy is recovering.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 25,827.36, and the broader S&P 500 climbed 0.5 percent to end the week at 3,130.01.

Meanwhile, the tech-rich Nasdaq posted another record after climbing 0.5 per cent to close at 10,207.63.

Investors were cheered by the Labor Department report showing US employers brought 4.8 million people back to work last month, which cut the unemployment rate by two points to 11.1 per cent - a better-than-expected result even if the jobless rate remains the highest in decades.

That sent the stock indices spiking at the open, though gains were pared back by the close ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

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"Today's report shows that conditions are improving on Main Street, not just on Wall Street," Adam Sarhan, founder of 50 Park Investments, told AFP.

However, much of market gains, which are in contrast to the unsteady economy, are due to huge infusions of liquidity offered by central banks globally, including the Federal Reserve, Mr Sarhan said.

Stimulus packages like the US$2.2 trillion Cares Act passed by the US Congress in mid-March also are helping to blunt the coronavirus downturn.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday while he will not be satisfied until all the jobs lost during the pandemic are restored, he aims to have another stimulus package by the end of July.

The Treasury also announced it had agreed to loan terms under the Cares Act with five airlines. But American Airlines, one of the borrowers, sunk 2.4 per cent by the close.

Plane maker Boeing was a better performer with a 0.3 per cent gain after air safety regulators on Wednesday completed test flights on the grounded 737 MAX.

AFP

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