(Bloomberg) – Stocks gained for a second day, with investors taking the risk despite the largest monthly job loss in more than 70 years. Treasury bill yields increased and the dollar weakened.
The stocks of energy, industrial and consumer staples helped the S&P 500 record its first weekly gain in three. The tech-rich Nasdaq climbed for a fifth day, bringing this week’s gain to 6%. The latest employment report showed a reduction of 20.5 million workers in April, propelling the unemployment rate to 14.7%. Although it was the highest since the Great Depression, investors anticipated the damage and speculated that it would bottom out during the economic crisis fueled by the pandemic.
“There has been a sense of optimism in the market: when we come back, things can come back pretty well and that contributes to that optimism,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
Meanwhile, oil posted its first consecutive weekly gain since February, as declines in production by the largest producers and a nascent recovery in demand began to rebalance a flooded crude market.
Stocks remain higher even after President Donald Trump has questioned the future of his “phase one” trade deal with China, saying on Friday that he was struggling with Beijing following the coronavirus pandemic .
Construction and travel stocks pulled the Euro Stoxx index higher while UK markets were closed for the holidays. Japanese stocks dominated Asia. Italian bonds climbed before a sovereign rating decision.
So far, stocks have managed to withstand miserable economic data and a string of poor earnings reports, with investors betting on a rapid recovery, but the strong rebound in risky assets has prompted others wondering if further gains were warranted.
“Some feared that unemployment would approach 25%. Today’s data is therefore somewhat of a positive surprise,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “Today’s data has weighed on negative sentiment for several weeks, so just lifting it raises a cloud.”
Elsewhere, gold fell. Bitcoin briefly surpassed $ 10,000 for the first time since late February.
Here are some of the main market movements:
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