Wall Street has rallied broadly with the Nasdaq approaching record highs as signs of an economic recovery from mandated shutdowns helped investors look beyond US social unrest and pandemic worries.
Financials, industrials and tech have pushed the three major US stock indexes well into the black.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each posted their fourth straight day of solid gains.
The Nasdaq, the S&P 500 and the Dow have rebounded sharply from March lows hit as coronavirus-related lockdowns shocked the stock market, and they are now 1.4 per cent, 7.8 per cent, and 11.1 per cent, respectively, away from overtaking all-time closing highs set in February.
The Nasdaq 100 is now just over 0.1 per cent below its February record, having briefly breached that level late in Wednesday’s session.
David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York, said there was growing confidence the US economy can safely re-open, “much as other economies such as China and Italy have successfully done”.
“Risk appetite for equities has been helped by optimism in the economy, as well as investors having few other alternatives,” he said.
Nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed African-American man in police custody extended to an eighth night as protesters ignored curfews, but violence subsided as US President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military.
A spate of grim economic data was not as bad as economists feared, with ADP reporting many fewer private-sector job cuts in May than expected.
Market participants now await the US Labor Department’s more comprehensive May jobs report, which is expected to show unemployment soaring to a historic 19.7 per cent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 527.24 points, or 2.05 per cent, to 26,269.89, the S&P 500 gained 42.05 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 3,122.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 74.54 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 9,682.91.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but healthcare closed in positive territory, with industrials and financials enjoying the biggest percentage gains.
Boeing gave the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow, its shares rising 12.9 per cent following news that billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point had taken a stake in the company.
Lyft jumped 8.7 per cent after the ride-sharing platform reported rides increased 26 per cent in May.
Microchip Technology surged 12.3 per cent after the chipmaker raised its forecast for current-quarter sales and profit.
Teleconferencing firm Zoom Communications nearly doubled its annual sales expectations, but also reported a sharp rise in costs. Its shares were up 7.6 per cent.
Cosmetics maker Coty rose 13.4 per cent after announcing it was in talks to collaborate on a beauty line with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.
Campbell Soup beat earnings expectations and hiked its full-year forecast, but troubles meeting surging consumer demand sent its shares down 6.1 per cent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.26-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 32 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 96 new highs and four new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 12.48 billion shares, compared with the 11.45 billion average over the last 20 trading days.