Jobs Asterisk? No Worries, Dow Up 461

John Divine


The first week of June saw major gains in the stock market, with last Friday's impressive May jobs report serving as the week's biggest catalyst: It showed nonfarm payrolls growing by 2.5 million versus the expected decline of 8.5 million.

But there's been time to digest that data over the weekend, and the numbers are actually less sanguine than they initially seemed: Apparently, nearly 5 million people were erroneously counted as employed in the report, and the unemployment rate actually should've topped 16.3% instead of clocking in at 13.3%, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While that may not seem such a trivial distinction to the retail investor, it certainly was to Wall Street, where stocks continued rallying on Monday and the S&P 500 clawed its way back into positive territory for 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 461 points, or 1.7%, to finish at 27,572.

The recession began in February. Although no one really needed to be told this, the National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared that, yes, a recession started months ago. The United States' 128-month economic expansion, the longest in its history, ended in February.

The fact that the U.S. economy erased 10 years of job gains in a matter of a few months was a hint to most onlookers that the boom times were over, but now there's official confirmation.

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Tesla hits a new high. CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX recently put astronauts in space for the first time in its corporate history. Now, the CEO of electric vehicle icon Tesla (ticker: TSLA) has a new milestone to celebrate: All-time highs for TSLA stock, which jumped over 7% on Monday and is currently up more than 120% year-to-date.

With demand for shares driven in part by a more carefree, risk-tolerant market, a new analyst report from Wedbush Securities' Daniel Ives also helped fuel the stock. Ives noted what seems to be a resurgence in demand for Tesla's mass-market Model 3 sedan from China, which is arguably the most important end market for Tesla bulls.

All of the risks. The top-rising stocks in the S&P 500 were all "risk-on" stocks that were some of the index's biggest losers in recent months. At times, and not so long ago, their economic viability in itself has been called into question. The top four performers were beauty products business Coty ( COTY), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ( NCLH), Alaska Air Group ( ALK) and Occidental Petroleum ( OXY).

Each stock rose between 17% and 23%.