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New York (CNN Business)It has been a rough quarter for the US economy, with the country plunging into a pandemic-fueled recession. Yet the stock market is alive and kicking -- in fact, it's having its best quarter in more than 20 years.

The Dow (INDU) recorded its best quarter since the first three months of 1987 with a 17.
8% jump, while the S&P 500 (SPX) logged its best quarterly gain since the final three months of 1998, climbing 19.9%.The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) lagged only slightly behind, with its best performance since the fourth quarter of 1999, soaring 30.6%.
    All three indexes are also in the green on Tuesday, the final trading day of June and the second quarter.It's been an extremely turbulent quarter for the stock market. Read MoreThe buoyant rally came on the coattails of a dramatic selloff in the market in March, when the pandemic lockdown began. Case in point: The Dow recorded its worst start to a year in history, falling 23.2% in the first three months. But investors were optimistic about the summer thanks to the gradual reopening of the economy -- which began as early as April in some states -- as well as unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus left investors optimistic about the summer. More than 20 million American jobs vanished in April, but soon after, the jobs picture and other economic data began to improve as well. That said, the country's crisis is clearly not over. Thursday's jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is still expected to show an unemployment rate of more than 12%.
      Nevertheless, investors are deciding to focus on the positives.Over the past weeks, infection rates in parts of the country surged higher and have left some states to pause their reopening plans. Economists worry about what a second lockdown could do to the recovery. These worries weighed on the market on some days but were often outweighed by hopes for more stimulus money from Washington.

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      Monuments and statues are falling. But what comes next?

      TIERRA AMARILLA, N.M. (AP) — The dusty town of Tierra Amarilla perches in the shadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here, five decades ago, this poor northern New Mexico community saw one of the most violent clash in civil rights history when armed Mexican American ranchers raided a courthouse in a dispute over land grants. It shocked the nation and helped trigger the Chicano Movement.

      Today, there’s almost nothing in town to honor this historic moment, except for graffiti art on an abandoned gas station and a sentence on a marker. There’s also almost no public art about the event anywhere.

      As monuments and statues fall across the United States, activists and towns are left wondering what to do with empty spaces that once honored historic figures tied to Confederate generals and Spanish conquistadors. They also are debating how to remember civil rights figures and events in areas where they have been forgotten.

      The opportunity to reimagine spaces has created a debate: whose history should the U.S. now honor and why? Should anything go on those empty podiums at all?

      Some advocates say monuments to the late U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan or Mexican American civil rights leader Dolores Huerta should replace the fallen statues. Others say World War II Marine Sgt. Miguel Trujillo Sr., a member of the Isleta Pueblo who sued to get Native Americans the right to vote in New Mexico, or former slave-turned-abolitionist Olaudah Equiano should have monuments erected in their honor. Christy Symington, a London-based sculptor, has already created an image of Equiano that some advocates say should be replicated in now empty spaces.

      “I almost think the pedestals just need to be left there (empty),” said Rev. Rob W. Lee, a senior pastor of Unifour Church in Newton, North Carolina, and a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who now speaks out against Confederate monuments.

      Lee said he sees the toppling of Confederate statues with Black Lives Matter graffiti as a move to reclaim Black lives from white supremacy. “I think it’s quite beautiful,” Lee said. “Leave it like that.”

      Brett Chapman, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, attorney and descendant of Standing Bear, a Ponca chief and civil rights leader, said he’d like to see the fallen statues replaced by largely unknown social justice advocates. “There are so many people we can honor that will show how we’ve overcome oppression,” Chapman said. “It’ll be a chance for us to learn and reflect.”

      On Saturday, protesters in Baltimore pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it into the city’s Inner Harbor. That followed other episodes of Confederate and Spanish colonial statues getting toppled last month by demonstrators or after officials ordered their removal.

      It’s also lead to statues of Presidents George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant getting vandalized.

      That has given some supporters of anti-racism protests pause. Cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams, the author of “Self-Portrait in Black and White,” said he understood the need to remove Confederate monuments but is uncomfortable with the vandalism of statues honoring the Founding Fathers and American Union Civil War figures.

      “Mobs in the street tearing down Ulysses S. Grant statues is a really chilling sight,” Williams said. “We should understand the context (of history). But erasing these men from the public sphere seems like a bad road to go down to me.”

      Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, an assistant English professor at Arizona State University and author of the upcoming book “Colonial Legacies in Chicana/o Literature and Culture: Looking Through the Kaleidoscope,” said she can see the spaces honoring people who are not famous.

      “What about the people who are living and breathing right now who made this place what it is today?” Fonseca-Chávez said. “Not a famous person. Just who we are. I think that could go a long way.”


      Associated Press writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity Team. Follow him on Twitter at

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