Defying dire predictions, Wall Street rallied for the third straight day despite an unheard of and record-breaking 3.28 million unemployment claims in a single week in the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1,351.62 points, or 6.4%, to close at 22,552.17. The benchmark S&P 500 jumped 6.2% to 2,630.07. The Boeing Company (up 13.8%), Chevron Corporation (up 10.6%) and Walgreens Company (up 10.2%) drove the Dow forward. On the other hand, utilities and real estate were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, both closing more than 7% higher.
The NASDAQ Composite advanced 5.6% to 7,797.54 on the back of a surge by Big Tech. Facebook, Inc. rose 4.6%, Amazon.com, Inc. rose 3.7%, Apple, Inc. gained 5.3%, Netflix, Inc. grew 6.0% and Alphabet, Inc. improved 5.6%. The Dow on Thursday saw its biggest three-day surge since 1931, skyrocketing more than 20%. The S&P 500 also posted a three-day winning streak.
Analysts said investors chose to focus on the positive, in this case the also unheard of $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package for individuals, corporations and the healthcare community approved overwhelmingly by the U.S. Senate Wednesday. The House of Representatives will approve the package Thursday and President Donald Trump will sign it Friday.
Not even an inane and stunning statement from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin the number of 3.28 million unemployed Americans are "irrelevant" didn't faze investors now drawn in by bargain hunting. The Trump administration has begun downplaying the massive unemployment numbers, which are the largest in U.S. history.
"You know, to be honest with you, I think these numbers are not relevant," declared Mnuchin in echoing the administration's new strategy of not blaming Trump for the historic plunge. Also along this line is Trump's medically-unfounded push to return certain areas in the U.S. back to business as stated in a letter to governors.
Thursday's rally follows the first two-day winning streak for the Dow and S&P 500 since February. Wednesday's modest gain cut short by bad political news extended Tuesday's historic rally, which saw the Dow post its best day since 1933. The Dow also posted its largest single-day point gain in history. On the other hand, Tuesday was the S&P 500′s best day since 2008.
Despite Thursday's rally, the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ are down 20.7% from their all-time highs set only this February. Thursday's rally was all the more surprising since stock futures for the Dow, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ indicated another selloff. Futures for all three indices took a dive after initially making gains in early Thursday morning trading.
Dow futures fell 81 points, indicating an opening drop of around 135 points, at Thursday's open. S&P 500 futures and NASDAQ-100 futures also foretold opening declines for both indices.