The Nasdaq composite index hit a new high and reentered a bull market after Wall Street dove on worries about the coronavirus pandemic in February and March, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.

The Top Story

Officially, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index needed to end above its previous record high close of 9,817.18 on Feb. 19 to designate that a new bull market began when it bottomed on March 23. And it did that with ease, closing 1.1% higher at 9,924.

Monday marked back-to-back intraday records for the Nasdaq. On Friday it became the first of the big three indexes to bounce back to a record high. The Dow’s previous record high close came Feb. 12, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit their record highs seven days later.

Following Wall Street’s crash into bear market territory in March, investors have bet on a revival in business activity with the easing of a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus.

The stock market is still buoyed by Friday’s surprisingly strong May U.S. jobs report, which gave the clearest signal yet that the worst of the downturn triggered by the pandemic was probably behind us, although the road to recovery could still be long.

The Dow Jones is about 7% from its record high in February and the S&P 500 is around 5% off.

The Dow Jones rose 1.70%. The S&P 500 gained 1.20% and the Nasdaq rose 1.13%. The Russell 2000 moved up 1.97%.

Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*

S&P 500: 3,232 (+1.20%)
DOW: 27,572 (+1.70%)
NASDAQ: 9,924 (+1.13%)
1,536 (+1.97%)
25.81 (+1.29)
GOLD: $1,706.20 (+1.37%)
BITCOIN: $9,715.88 (-0.48%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.87% (-0.03)

*- as of 4:15 p.m.

A Big Win

In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to be on the lookout for Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) after reports surfaced that Britain’s AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) was looking at a possible merger with the American pharmaceutical company. Shares of Gilead Sciences rose 0.3%.

We also told you about recreational vehicle manufacturer Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO) as the company beat Wall Street expectations for both earnings and revenue in the last quarter. The company reported quarterly earnings of $0.43 per share. Shares of Thor rose 11.2%.

Finally, we told you about PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) after the investor-owned California utility said it plans to raise $5.75 billion through public offerings of stock and equity units to help fund its way out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Shares of PG&E recoverved, and finished up slightly 0.4%.

Golden Nuggets

Gold prices rose Monday after the previous session’s steep fall as investors bank on dovish monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

U.S. spot gold rose 0.86% to $1,698.50 an ounce in afternoon trading.

Bullion fell as much as 2.4% to $1,670.14 on Friday, its lowest in over a month, after an unexpected rise in U.S. employment increased hopes for a swift recovery in the global economy and boosted investor appetite for riskier assets.

Gold futures jumped 1.4% to $1,705.90 an ounce. Silver futures jumped 2.8% to trade at $17.96 an ounce.

Platinum moved 4.2% higher to $864.60 while palladium rose 4.6% to $2,041.60 an ounce.

Cannabis Corner

The government in Bermuda has released a draft bill to legalize marijuana in the island nation located off the coast of Florida.

Under the proposed law, adults 21 and older would be able to purchase and possess up to seven grams of marijuana from licensed retailers, according to Marijuana Moment.

The bill would also establish the Cannabis Advisory Authority which would issue licenses and regulate the market. The nation would offer seven different types of licenses: cultivation, retail, research, import, export, transportation and manufacturing.

US Recession Began in February, Panel Says

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research said the longest U.S. economic expansion on record officially came to an end in February.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the panel said the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent public health response led to a downturn with different dynamics than prior recessions.

The monthly economic activity “reached a clear peak” in February, marking the end of the 128-month expansion that began in June 2009. It was the largest expansion in history, dating back to 1854.

Today’s Big Winners

S&P 500: Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) +22.24%

Nasdaq: United Airlines Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: UAL) +14.8%

Dow: Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) +12.3%

Today’s Big Losers

S&P 500: Amcor PLC (NYSE: AMCR) -3.5%

Nasdaq: NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) -3.8%

Dow: Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) -1%

Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets