The stock market is ending the week on an extremely high note, fueled by a fantastic jobs report and overall optimism about the reopening of the U.S. economy. As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index were higher by 2.6% and 2.1%, respectively.
Hotel stocks were among the market's best performers, and Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE:RHP) was a standout in the group, up by more than 11%.
If you haven't read the jobs report, here's the general idea. Experts had been projecting that the economy lost about 8.3 million jobs in May, and that the official unemployment rate had jumped to 19.5%. What we got was a gain of 2.5 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 13.3%, which was down from 14.7% in April. To call this a big surprise wouldn't do it justice.
As a group-focused hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), Ryman (which operates the five Gaylord hotels) has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It needs two basic things to happen to grow its revenue back to pre-pandemic levels: Group events like conventions must return, and consumers and businesses must be willing to spend money.
Ryman has millions of room nights booked for future events, which clearly depend on those events actually happening. But what the jobs report shows is that Ryman's reopening (it plans to open four out of its five hotels this month) could go better than expected. It recently told investors that it would focus on leisure travelers initially to fill up rooms, and a strong economy could give this part of the business a big boost.
In short, all of the recent news has been strong for Ryman. Today's jobs report is responsible for the latest leg up, but the REIT is up 31% for this week on positive news on consumer spending, virus numbers, and the generally promising economy.