S&P 500 Hits Record High, Nasdaq Soars on Jobs Gains, Pfizer COVID-19 Drug

Stocks hit fresh record highs again Friday, with the Nasdaq passing the 16,000 point mark for the first time ever and the S&P hitting a fresh intraday high, on stronger-than-expected October jobs gains.

© TheStreet S&P 500 Hits Record High, Nasdaq Soars on Jobs Gains, Pfizer COVID-19 Drug

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 220 points, or 0.61%, to 36,344, while the S&P 500, which hit an intraday high, rose 0.61%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 0.30%.

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The Bureau for Labor Statistics said 531,000 new jobs were created last month, with headline unemployment rate falling to a post-pandemic low of 4.6%. The October tally was firmly ahead of Wall Street’s consensus forecast of 450,000 and the strongest in several months.

“This is the strong progress from the job market that we wanted to see,” said Jeffrey Buchbinder, LPL Financial Equity Strategist. “Some of the pandemic-driven headwinds preventing people from taking open jobs have started to abate, and given strong demand, we expect to see even better numbers in the months ahead.”

Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy E*Trade Financial, said “the report more or less blew it out of the water.”

“Digging into the numbers, the muted wage growth likely calmed inflation worries,” he said. “So despite headwinds with supply chain constraints and potential holiday hiring challenges to close out the year, gains on the jobs front today is a win for our recovery.”

Stocks were given an added boost from data showing Pfizer’s developing COVID antiviral pill cut the risk of hospitalization and death in trial participants by 89% in what CEO Albert Bourla called a “game changer” for the global pandemic.

Travel stocks climbed on the news, with United Airlines , American Airlines and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings all moving into positive territory.

Uber Technologies shares gained as passenger traffic increased and costs linked to adding new drivers stabilized.

On the down side, Peloton Interactive shares tumbled after the connected fitness equipment company cut its forecast for annual revenue by up to $1 billion.

The company said it sees lighter-than-expected holiday sales because of the economic reopening, which has led to people spending more time out of their homes and off their exercise bikes.

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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