July 02, 2020: Traders cheered by better-than-expected unemployment figures pushed Wall Street stocks higher at the open Thursday, following a session in which the Nasdaq hit a new record.
About 20 minutes after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.7 percent or more than 420 points at 26,162.66.
The tech-rich Nasdaq climbed 1.3 percent to 10,290.39, while the broad-based S&P 500 was up 1.5 percent at 3,161.21.
The Labor Department reported that the US gained a surprising 4.8 million jobs in June, pushing the unemployment rate down to 11.1 percent and providing a boost to an economy hammered by coronavirus shutdowns.
But authorities have rolled back reopening measures and forced some business closed again as virus cases surged later in the month, particularly in the south and west, which could jeopardize the latest job gains.
And the US is still losing jobs, the Labor Department said in a separate report showing 1.43 million people filing initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, only slightly less than the prior week. Layoffs have averaged 1.5 million a week over the past four weeks.
Just under half of the new hires in the June unemployment report were in sectors hard-hit by the business closures like leisure and hospitality.
Companies in those sectors were among Wall Street's big gainers after the open, with Delta Air Lines up 2.4 percent and United Airlines up 2.2 percent.
Cruise operator Carnival was up 2.4 percent, Norwegian Cruise Line gained 3.3 percent and Royal Caribbean climbed 3.4 percent.
Boeing also jumped 2.2 percent after US air safety regulators on Wednesday successfully completed three days of flight tests on the 737 MAX, a key step in recertifying the plane.