Wall St extends record rally on strong jobs report, Pfizer COVID-19 pill cheer

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, United States, October 20, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

  • Pfizer climbs after positive data on antiviral pill COVID-19
  • October payroll rises as virus impact wears off
  • Travel stocks lead wider market gains
  • Pinterest rises as the holiday season promises to be bright
  • Rising indices: Dow 0.63%, S&P 0.57%, Nasdaq 0.58%

Nov. 5 (Reuters) – Major Wall Street indices hit record highs in a widespread rally on Friday, as data showing strong job growth in October, coupled with the COVID pill update Pfizer’s -19 boosted sentiment about economic growth.

Ten of the top 11 S&P sectors grew, with three of them gaining more than 1% each. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index (.RUT) rose 1.6%, also hitting a record high.

The Department of Labor report showed employment in the United States grew more than expected last month as COVID-19 infections over the summer eased, although worker shortages continued boost wage growth, with annual hourly earnings reaching 4.9% in October. Read more

“While (the data) bodes well for the recovery in the United States, the 4.9% year-on-year profit increase highlights concerns about wage inflation,” said Susannah Streeter, analyst principal of investments and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“But the numbers are unlikely to be hot enough to sway the Federal Reserve off its race to phase down its stimulus package.”

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) jumped 7.9% after the drugmaker’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 reduced the risk of developing serious illness by 89%. [nL1N2RW0N5]

Shares of Merck (MRK.N) fell 9.6%, dragging the S&P healthcare sector (.SPXHC) lower.

Travel inventories rose after Pfizer’s announcement, the S&P 1500 Airlines Index (.SPCOMAIR) climbing 6.5% and cruise lines Carnival Corp (CCL.N), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL.N) and Norwegian Cruise (NCLH.N) increasing by approximately 9% each.

“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.

“Profits for the most part are pretty solid, promising. It’s not a perfect world, but overall the numbers are good.”

Among profit-driven moves, Expedia (EXPE.O) jumped 14.5% after the online travel agency posted bullish third-quarter revenue, while Pinterest Inc (PINS.N) climbed 7.1% on a strong fourth quarter revenue forecast. Read more

A strong third quarter reporting season, coupled with good earnings growth prospects as well as a central bank in no rush to raise interest rates, recently boosted investor appetite for equities.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden urged US lawmakers worried about rising inflation on Friday to pass the infrastructure and domestic spending bills currently before the House of Representatives. Read more

At 12:03 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 226.01 points, or 0.63%, to 36,350.24, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 26.88 points, or 0.57%, to 4,706.94, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) rose 92.12 points, or 0.58%, to 16,032.43, crossing the bar for the first time of the 16,000.

Shares of so-called “home” names like Zoom Video Communications (ZM.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) fell 6.6% and 1.9%, respectively.

Peloton Interactive Inc (PTON.O) fell 34.0% after slashing its full-year sales outlook to $ 1 billion. Read more

Rising issues outnumbered declines by a 2.48-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P Index recorded 82 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 282 new highs and 58 new lows.

Reporting by Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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