US stock indices move into record territory as investors look beyond disappointing January employment report


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US stock indexes held near record highs Friday morning, with benchmarks heading for the best weekly gain since the November election, despite the latest employment update showing a disappointing gain of 49,000 positions. jobs in January, suggesting that the labor market recovery is stagnating. How are equity benchmarks performing? The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, + 0.30%, was up 167 points, or 0.5%, to 31,211, above the index’s closing record on January 20 at 31,188.38. The S&P 500 SPX Index, + 0.25%, gained 14 points, or 0.4%, to 3,885, after hitting an intraday all-time high at 3,891.69 early Friday. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, + 0.07% was up 4 points to hit 13,782, a gain of less than 0.1%, but had hit an intraday record at 13,826.61. On Thursday, the S&P 500 posted its sixth record close of 2021, while the Nasdaq posted its seventh record for the year so far this year, and the Dow finished just 0.4% off its all-time closing high. Small cap centered on The Russell 200 RUT RUT, + 0.87% was up 1.8%, setting a record.

For the week, the Russell 2000 is slated for a 6.2% weekly gain, the Nasdaq was targeting a roughly 5.4% gain, the S&P 500 was on track for a 4.2% weekly advance, while the Dow was looking a return. of 3.6% in the period, at the end of Thursday. What drives the market? The Labor Department’s employment status report showed 49,000 jobs were added in January, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7%. The results confirm the view that the recovery in the labor market is stalling amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the US economy. Some 10 million jobs that disappeared in the early stages of the pandemic have yet to return. “Looking at the US [nonfarm payrolls] data, it is clear that the enormous strength that we had previously seen in many areas is no more, ”wrote Naeem Aslam, AvaTrade’s chief market analyst. “This means that US lawmakers can push very hard for the next second stimulus package,” he wrote after the labor data was released. The January report follows a December reading that showed 140,000 jobs were lost, marking the first monthly drop in employment figures in about eight months when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country. The January report comes as many states reimposed trade restrictions late last year to combat the pandemic, and restaurants and hotels had to lay off workers, some for the second or third time. The employment status is likely to be even worse than last month’s labor report reflected, economists say. Several million people who left the workforce, which lowered the unemployment rate, did so because they could not find work and are not counted in the main unemployment rate. Still, investors seemed optimistic based on the healthy earnings of US corporations in the second-busiest week of the fourth-quarter reporting season results, along with prospects for Congress to pass the US tax relief package. $ 1.9 billion coronavirus from President Joe Biden, using a special reconciliation procedure. The Senate passed a budget resolution early Friday, from 51 to 50, that would allow rapid monitoring of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Fears of a market correction that gripped the market last week, inspired by an individual investor revolution led by Reddit, has ushered in fresh gains for stocks. The rally in the major benchmarks is now heading for their best weekly gains in about three months, FactSet data shows. “US markets extended their rally for the fourth day in a row yesterday as the recent fallout from last week’s Reddit-inspired sell-off faded further,” Mark Hewson, CMC Markets chief market analyst, wrote in a note. of daily research. “Improvements in US economic data, along with the prospect of increased fiscal stimulus, have helped underpin this week’s recovery,” the analyst said. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said regulators would ensure investor protection after a multi-month social media campaign by individual investors to boost the value of very short stocks like GameStop Inc GME, + 53.07%. Popular trading app Robinhood Markets has removed the last of its trading limits on GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC shares, + 12.27%, among others. Since then, the volatility in the market associated with the reaction to the retail business frenzy has decreased significantly. On the public health front, Johnson & Johnson JNJ, + 1.56% applied for an emergency use authorization of their single injection COVID vaccine, which could result in Americans receiving injections starting in March. Meanwhile, COVID hospitalizations continued to fall, to 88,668 on Thursday, the lowest total since Nov. 24, according to the COVID Tracking Project. However, the death toll in the US as a result of the coronavirus causing COVID-19 soared above 5,000 for the first time on Thursday, breaking a downward trend. What actions are in focus? Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. REGN rose 1.3% on Friday after the company said its COVID-19 antibody cocktail treatment generated $ 145.5 million in sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 as part of its Profits. An advisory committee from the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to meet on February 26 for an all-day meeting to discuss Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ COVID-19 vaccine candidate vaccine. J&J shares were up 1.8%. The Estee Lauder Companies EL reported a fiscal second-quarter profit on Friday that was well above expectations, as revenue also rose above expectations, but provided a pessimistic outlook for the current quarter as a resurgence in revenues. COVID-19 cases have led to renewed government restrictions. Its shares soared more than 7%. Shares of Noble Midstream LP NBLX soared 4.7% on Friday after Chevron Corp. CVS offered to buy the midstream infrastructure asset operator, which is already majority owned by Chevron, in a deal that values ​​Noble Midstream at around $ 1,130 million. Chevron shares rose 0.8%. China’s Luckin Coffee has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York, the company said in a statement on Friday. All of its coffee chains will remain open, Luckin said in a statement. Shares in Aurora Mobile Ltd. JG more than doubled to a two-year high on Friday, after the China-based mobile development service provider announced a partnership agreement with Kuaishou Technology, the rival of TikTok-backed by technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY, to improve the efficiency of advertising monetization. News Corp. NWS, NWSA said late Thursday that its fiscal second quarter was the most profitable quarter since the company’s reorganization more than seven years ago, even as quarterly revenue was down 3% from the prior-year quarter. . The shares were up more than 8%. Ford Motor F, + 0.75% made a windfall in the fourth quarter, and its shares were up 1.3%. Peloton Interactive Inc. PTON, -6.18% posted its first quarter with revenues in excess of $ 1 billion, but delays in shipping its products were weighed. Its shares fell 7%. How are other assets doing? The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond TMUBMUSD10Y rose 1.5 basis points to around 1.15%, from 1.090% last Friday. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions. The ICE US dollar index, DXY, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.3% but was up nearly 0.7% so far this week. GCJ21 gold futures were up 0.6% to around $ 1,802 an ounce, after falling below $ 1,800 on Thursday. Oil futures rose, and the US benchmark CL.1 index gained 95 cents, or 1.7%, at $ 57.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Stoxx 600 Europe SXXP Index rose 0.1%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX traded 0.1% lower. In Asian trade on Friday, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP closed 0.2% lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI Index gained 0.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK rose 1.5%.