© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, October 20, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid
By Lewis Krauskopf, Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar
(Reuters) – Major Wall Street indices hit record closing highs on Friday and posted strong gains for the week following a strong US jobs report and positive data for Pfizer experimental pill against COVID-19.
Nasdaq and Nasdaq hit a record for their seventh consecutive session, while the Nasdaq also closed at a record high. All three indices posted weekly gains for their fifth straight week.
The Department of Labor report showed that employment in the United States increased more than expected in October as the headwinds of the surge in COVID-19 infections over the summer eased.
A trial of Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE 🙂 experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 was stopped soon after the drug was shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% for adults at risk of developing a serious illness. Pfizer shares jumped about 11%.
The news kept the race for equities going after investors digested earlier in the week the Federal Reserve’s decision to start cutting back on monthly bond purchases put in place to support the economy.
“The momentum we have seen this week has continued, and the Jobs report and Pfizer announcement certainly provide positive data points for investors to invest more money in the market now,” said Chuck Carlson, CEO of Horizon Investment Services at Hammond. , Indiana.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 203.72 points, or 0.56%, to 36,327.95, the S&P 500 gained 17.47 points, or 0.37%, to 4,697.53 and the addition from 31.28 points, or 0.2%, to 15,971.59.
Over the week, the S&P 500 rose 2%, the Dow Jones gained 1.42%, while the Nasdaq gained 3.05%.
Travel stocks rose on Pfizer’s announcement, with the S&P 1500 airline index climbing 7% and cruise lines Carnival (NYSE 🙂 Corp, Royal Caribbean (NYSE 🙂 Cruises and Norwegian Cruise increase by approximately 8% to 9%.
“It’s still early days to be definitive, but this (pill) seems to be a game-changer for many industries like leisure and transportation, you see it reflected in the prices,” said Andre Bakhos, Managing Director of New Vines Capital. LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Among the S&P 500 sectors, energy and industrials lead the way, increasing by 1.4% and 1% respectively.
Healthcare was the only sector that finished negatively, down 1%. The Pfizer news weighed on the shares of competitors such as Merck, which fell nearly 10%, and COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Moderna (NASDAQ :), which fell 16.6%.
The shares of so-called “home” names fell, with Focus on video communications (NASDAQ 🙂 down 6.2% and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 down 3.4%.
Better than expected third quarter earnings helped boost equity sentiment. With around 440 companies reporting, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have grown 41.5% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES.
Shares of Pinterest (NYSE 🙂 Inc climbed 5.9% after the company’s strong fourth-quarter earnings forecast.
Shares of Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc fell 35.3% after the company lowered its full-year sales forecast to $ 1 billion.
The advancing issues outnumbered the declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 2.16 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.22 to 1 favored the advances.
The S&P 500 posted 83 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 303 new highs and 80 new lows.
About 11.5 billion shares changed hands on the US stock exchanges, up from 10.5 billion on a daily average over the past 20 sessions.