Main Street is reeling from the coronavirus crisis. Wall Street is looking forward to better days ahead.
US stocks opened sharply higher Friday even after the American jobs market lost a record 20.5 million jobs.
- The Dow jumped 330 points, or 1.4%.
- The S&P 500 advanced 1.1%.
- The Nasdaq climbed 0.8%, leaving it up nearly 1% on the year.
Markets barely flinched after the Labor Department said the United States lost 20.5 million jobs during April because of the self-imposed shutdown to fight the pandemic.
The unemployment rate spiked to 14.7%, blowing past the worst levels of the Great Recession.
But Wall Street was hardly shocked by the numbers. Economists had predicted an even bigger loss of jobs and a 16% unemployment rate.
“Investors were already braced for a very dismal employment report,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust.
The reaction on Wall Street is another reminder that the stock market is not the economy. Investors look six to nine months into the future.
Moreover, the S&P 500 represents the biggest companies, many of which have the resources to ride out this storm.