Unexpectedly Positive Retail Sales Report Send Stocks Soaring

A couple of positive reports sent Wall Street surging again today triggered mostly by a record jump in retail sales. Data released by the Commerce Department showed retail sales jumped by a record 17.7% in May, blowing past the 8% increase analysts expected. Investors took this as an indication that the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery, five months into its pandemic-inflicted recession. The upbeat retail sales data helped push S&P 500's Retail index 2.3% higher, led by Nordstrom Inc and Kohl's Corp, which surged by 14.9% and 7.7%, respectively. All three major U.S. stock indexes were sharply higher, and on course for their third consecutive daily gains.

The other news effecting the surge was a UK-led drug trial showing that low doses of the generic steroid drug Dexamethasone reduced COVID-19 death rates among the most severe cases.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 577.73 points, or 2.24%, to 26,340.89, the S&P 500 gained 64.83 points, or 2.11%, to 3,131.42 and the Nasdaq Composite added 181.65 points, or 1.87%, to 9,907.67.

All 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 were well in the black, with healthcare leading the charge.

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