Wall Street rallies despite record job losses

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New York, May 9 (IANS) US stocks ended noticeably higher even after data showed a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in the world’s largest economy last month.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 455.43 points, or 1.91 per cent, to 24,331.32. The S&P 500 increased 48.61 points, or 1.69 per cent, to 2,929.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 141.66 points, or 1.58 per cent, to 9,121.32, Xinhua news agency reported.
All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors rallied, with energy closing up 4.34 per cent, outpacing the rest. Industrials and materials rose 2.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively, also among the best performers.
US total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 per cent, due to the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.
Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality, said the report.
“Huge job losses and a post-Great Depression high in the unemployment rate nevertheless understate the full extent of the damage in the labor market in April,” Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note, while commenting on the dismal jobs data.
“The report was still so bad it was ignored by markets, which failed to move,” Low added.
Wall Street also weighed the possibility of normalizing economic activities as a growing number of US states started to loosen coronavirus-tied lockdowns.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 1.27 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 76,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.