June 3, 2020 / 8:05 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street closes sharply higher on signs of economic rebound

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By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, June 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied broadly on Wednesday with the Nasdaq approaching record highs as signs of an economic recovery from mandated shutdowns helped investors look beyond U.S. social unrest and pandemic worries.

Financials, industrials and tech pushed the three major U.S. stock indexes well into the black. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each posted their fourth straight day of solid gains.

The Nasdaq, the S&P 500 and the Dow have rebounded sharply from their troughs hit in late March, when coronavirus-related lockdowns shocked the stock market.

"There is growing confidence the U.S. economy can safely re-open, much as other economies such as China and Italy have successfully done," said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York. "Risk appetite for equities has been helped by optimism in the economy, as well as investors having few other alternatives."

Nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody extended through their eighth night as protesters ignored curfews, but violence subsided after President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military.

A spate of grim economic data was not as bad as economists feared, with ADP reporting many fewer private-sector job cuts in May than expected.

"It never feels quite right to pop the champagne over economic data that is 'less bad,'" Carter added. "But it does support the idea that momentum is shifting in a more positive direction sooner than expected."

Market participants now await the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive May jobs report, which is expected to show unemployment soaring to a historic 19.7%.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.06% to end at 26,272.27 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.36% to 3,122.81.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.76% to 9,681.11.

Boeing Co gave the biggest boost to the blue-chip Dow following news that billionaire investor Daniel Loeb's Third Point had taken a stake in the company.

Lyft Inc jumped after the ride-sharing platform reported rides increased 26% in May.

Microchip Technology Inc surged after the chipmaker raised its forecast for current-quarter sales and profit.

Teleconferencing firm Zoom Communications Inc advanced after it nearly doubled its annual sales expectations.

Cosmetics maker Coty Inc's gained after announcing it was in talks to collaborate on a beauty line with reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.

Campbell Soup Co's beat earnings expectations and hiked its full-year forecast, but troubles meeting surging consumer demand sent its shares lower.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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