Wall Street rallied on Friday, after the monthly jobs report revealed 2.5 million positions were added to the economy last month, the largest monthly gain on record. Economists had predicted 8 million jobs would be lost.
Confidence in a faster economic recovery boosted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by just over 1,000 points by midday on Friday, or 3.9 percent. The S&P soared by 3.1 percent and the Nasdaq gained 2.2 percent.
Companies that would benefit from a return to travel and tourism saw some of the strongest gains, with American Airlines up almost 30 percent and MGM Resorts up 8 percent. Boeing provided the biggest boost for the blue-chip Dow, gaining more than 14 percent.
The travel sector was among the hardest hit as the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the country, with airlines seeing traffic plunge by 95 percent and hotels recording zero bookings.
“It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is,” President Donald Trump tweeted a few minutes after the data was released, in a series of posts that described the jobs report as “amazing,” “incredible,” and “really big.”
Markets have remained largely insulated to the widespread social justice protests and some looting over the past week, after the killing of George Floyd, a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, propelled a call to action for racial equality.
Wall Street has instead focused on pricing in a “V-shaped” recovery, one that would see a quick turnaround after the historic plunge in economic growth that saw the obliteration of all job gains in the last decade.
“We’ve been talking about the ‘V’ — this is better than a ‘V.’ This is a rocket ship,” Trump said Friday at a news briefing held in the White House Rose Garden.
“Job growth rising by 2.5 million and the unemployment rate dropping by over a percentage point are positive developments, but it’s not clear how enduring this will be,” said Indeed’s economic research director Nick Bunker. “The labor market is still in a terrible spot, with employment only 87 percent of where it was before the coronavirus crisis began.”
“We remain mindful about the uneven nature of joblessness and employment,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “With a jobless rate of 13.9 percent, more adult women than men are out of work. The jobless rate for Blacks at 16.8 percent remains higher than for whites at 12.4 percent, and nearly 1 out of 3 teens were jobless last month.”