June 8, 2020 / 8:04 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Nasdaq hits record close, confirms bull market on economic recovery hopes

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* Energy stocks soar as OPEC+ extends oil output cut

* Airlines, cruise operators jump (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

June 8 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq hit a record high close on Monday, confirming a bull market began on March 23, and the Dow and S&P 500 jumped as expectations for a swift recovery from a coronavirus-driven downturn increased.

The Nasdaq is the first of the Wall Street’s three main indexes to bounce back from the market crash caused by the pandemic.

A closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday showed an unexpected fall in unemployment rate, bolstering views that the worst of the economic damage from the virus outbreak was over.

“It’s optimism surrounding the reopening of the global economy, and the likely confirmation that the U.S. economy will experience a V-shaped recovery in the second half,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

Stocks added to gains late in the session after the U.S. Federal Reserve eased the terms of its “Main Street” lending program.

The energy sector climbed the most among the 11 major S&P sectors as major oil producers agreed over the weekend to extend a deal on record output cuts.

Beaten-down shares of cruise operators Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd continued to recover. The S&P 1500 airlines index jumped.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 463.45 points, or 1.71%, to 27,574.43, the S&P 500 gained 38.53 points, or 1.21%, to 3,232.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 110.66 points, or 1.13%, to 9,924.75.

Investors will also focus this week on the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, ending on Wednesday, where the jobs report will most likely be discussed.

It would be the first meeting since April when Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy could feel the weight of the economic shutdown for more than a year. (Additional reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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