S&P erases 2020 losses as stocks soar

The S&P 500 on Monday erased its losses for the year, surpassing its closing level for 2019 as investors bet on a robust economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 closed up 38.5 points, or 1.2 percent, at 3,232. That was 17 points higher than its close on New Year’s Eve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 461 points, or 1.7 percent, closing at 27,572. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq advanced as well, adding 110.7 points, or 1.1 percent, to approach 10,000 for the first time. Last week, the technology-heavy index notched a record high, erasing all its pandemic losses.  

The optimism in markets comes as cities and states reopen, and preliminary data points to an unexpectedly early turnaround in unemployment.

But analysts warn that the initial employment figures announced Friday contain bad news beyond the better-than-expected 13.3 percent unemployment rate. While the jobs figure for May was positive, it also indicated that millions more people were not counted because they dropped out of the labor force, were working only part time or were otherwise misclassified.

States such as Texas and Florida that opened their economies early have also begun to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, which could portend another wave of closures further down the line. Weeks of social unrest and mass racial justice protests have also increased chances of new outbreaks of the virus.

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