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Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 3% on Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report showed that an economic recovery could be underway.

The state of play: Stocks have rallied since the worst of the coronavirus sell-off ended in late March and looked past a spate of ugly economic reports — not to mention civil unrest.

  • The S&P 500 is almost flat on the year — and has recovered a huge chunk its losses since the pandemic hit.
  • The S&P 500 is about 6% below its record high, which was set in February.

By the numbers, as of 1:20 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.6% (about 936 points).
  • The Nasdaq gained 2%.
  • Treasury yields also jumped, with the 10-year note rising about 10 basis points.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

The stock market had its worst day in months, but no one is quite sure why

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Nasdaq fell 5% on Thursday, its worst decline since March, and the S&P 500 had its worst session since June, but no one was quite sure why.

What happened: Fund managers and strategists posited that profit taking or rebalancing was to blame as no fundamental drivers for the sell-off were apparent and it remains unclear whether Thursday was a fluke or the beginning of retrenchment from what most Wall Street analysts viewed as an overextended market.

U.S. economy added 1.4 million jobs in August

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. added 1.4 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2% in July, the government announced on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market is rebounding, but the pace of hiring has dropped off from the fury of job gains seen earlier this summer. The slowdown could be a sign of what's to come: a long, sluggish job market recovery.

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.