US stocks open higher despite historic job losses


File photo: CGTN

Wall Street stocks gained in early trading Friday, shrugging off April employment figures that showed an unprecedented spike in job losses and unemployment.

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 24,183.27, up 1.3 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 1.1 percent to 2,912.62, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.9 percent to 9,055.60.

The gains were the latest instance of markets looking at economic reports that are bad, but not significantly different than expected, and instead focusing on positive news such as the gradual restart of economic activity in some parts of the United States and Europe.

An unprecedented 20.5 million jobs were destroyed in April in the world's largest economy, driving the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent compared to 4.4 percent in March, the Labor Department said in its monthly report, the first to capture the impact of a full month of the lockdowns.

The unemployment figure excludes millions of workers who are not currently on the job but expect to be called back.

The stock market has "been driven by the reopening narrative, the optimism surrounding positive vaccine developments and its faith in policy support providing a bridge to the other side," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.