US stocks surge, erasing 2020 losses

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FILE – This Jan. 31, 2020, file photo shows a Wall Street sign in front of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

US stocks rallied again on Monday, pushing the Nasdaq to an all-time high and the S&P 500 into positive territory for the year, signaling growing optimism about the pace of recovery after Friday’s better-than-expected jobs report.

The Dow finished up 461 points, or 1.7% higher. The S&P 500 ended up 1.2%, erasing its losses for the year. The Nasdaq Composite ended up 1.1%, its first record close since February.

The market rally came on the same day economists officially declared the United States is in a recession, ending the longest economic expansion in American history.

It’s a continuation of the remarkable turnaround for US stocks, which plunged into a bear market in mid-March when the US economy started to shut down because of coronavirus.

The broader stock market remains below the all-time high it reached February 19. But Wall Street has bet that huge, unprecedented sums of stimulus from the Federal Reserve and lawmakers will help to ease the economic pain caused by the stay-at-home orders.

Stocks continued to rise further as drug makers announced promising test results for coronavirus treatments and vaccines. And as the US economy began to reopen, that gave investors even more hope that the company’s they placed their bets on will turn around in the near future.

Still, the economy has a long difficult path to recovery ahead of it. The American unemployment rate is hovering above 13% and many businesses that rely on customers entering indoor spaces, such as restaurants, movie theaters, and sports arenas, will probably not recover for quite some time.

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