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Nasdaq hits record high as U.S. economy shows signs of rebound

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(Reuters) - The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC on Friday became the first of the three major U.S. stock indexes to bounce back to a record high, recovering from a stunning coronavirus-led slump on growing hopes of a swift economic rebound.

Wall Street has surged following a crash into bear territory in March as investors bet on a revival in business activity with the easing of a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus.

Data on Friday showed a surprise rise in U.S. jobs in May, offering the clearest signal yet the downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic was probably over, although the road to recovery could still be long.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is now less than 1% down on the year after crashing more than 32% from that level by late March, and is about 6% below its record high. The blue-chip Dow Jones index .DJI is about 8% below its own all-time high.

The smaller Nasdaq 100 index .NDX hit a record high on Thursday, partly powered by tech-related names including Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

Closing at a record high, according to a widely accepted definition, would confirm that the Nasdaq Composite has been in a new bull market since its pandemic low on March 23.

Reporting by the Reuters markets team; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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