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* Western Union, MoneyGram surge on report of deal offer
* Financial, energy, industrials stocks lead
* Airlines surge as commercial travel trickles back
* Indexes up: Dow 0.62%, S&P 0.38%, Nasdaq 0.09%
(Updates to late afternoon, changes dateline, byline)
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK, June 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks posted modest gains
on Tuesday as market participants looked past widespread social
unrest and pandemic worries to focus instead on lifting lockdown
restrictions and signs of economic recovery.
Cyclical stocks like financials and industrials gave the
biggest lift to the S&P 500 and the Dow, while tech shares
boosted the Nasdaq.
"There is that rotation going on as traders add more risk to
their portfolios with securities that have been beaten up and
should benefit as the economy recovers," said Tim Ghriskey,
chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
"That's what the market has been reaching for lately - the
battle between growth and value for leadership of the market."
The Nasdaq, the S&P 500 and the Dow have been approaching
their all-time closing highs in recent weeks and are now about
3%, 9% and 13%, respectively, below record closing levels.
Nationwide, violent protests over the death of a black man
at the hands of law enforcement officers continued unabated,
even as President Donald Trump vowed to unleash the military on
"Most of the focus is on the social unrest," Ghriskey added.
"We all hope calmer heads will prevail and we will address the
issues at the root of it all. But this shouldn't have any impact
on the markets."
But the green shoots of economic rebound driven in no small
part by massive stimulus packages from Capitol Hill and the U.S.
Federal Reserve has helped fuel investor optimism.
Market participants now await Friday's crucial jobs report
from the Labor Department for a clearer picture of the extent of
economic damage wrought by mandated lockdowns. The report is
expected to show the unemployment rate surging to a historic
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 157.21 points,
or 0.62%, to 25,632.23, the S&P 500 gained 11.65 points,
or 0.38%, to 3,067.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added
8.39 points, or 0.09%, to 9,560.44.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but consumer
staples and communications services were in
The ARCA Airline index, whose constituents have been
hit particularly hard by COVID-19-related restrictions, was up
3.3% boosted by a slow but steady increase in commercial air
Southwest Airlines Co rose 2.6% after extending
buyout and paid leaves to employees in what its chief executive
called an effort to "ensure survival."
Shares of Slack Technologies Inc advanced 2.3%
after Cowen initiated coverage of the workspace communication
platform with an "outperform" rating.
A report that Western Union has made an offer to buy
smaller rival MoneyGram International Inc sent the money
transfer companies shares up by 11.0% and 30.1%, respectively.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.60-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.52-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 11 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 70 new highs and four new lows.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)