NEW YORK – Wall Street stocks finished a sunny week on a positive note on Friday (Nov 5), with major indices again at records following strong jobs data and Pfizer’s announcement of a Covid-19 therapeutic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.6 per cent at 36,327.95.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.4 per cent to 4,697.53, climbing two percent for the week, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index picked up 0.2 per cent to 15,971.59.
The US economy added 531,000 jobs last month and job gains in the prior two months were higher than originally reported, while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 per cent, according to government data.
The better-than-expected result indicated hiring is resurging as Covid-19 infections decline.
Meanwhile, Pfizer announced that a clinical trial of its pill to treat Covid-19 showed an 89 per cent reduction in risk of hospitalisation or death among adult patients at high risk of progressing to severe illness.
The Pfizer medication differs from current treatments that require intravenous and must be given at health facilities, said Briefing.com.
“News like this… helps investors from a psychological standpoint, instilling confidence in the prospect of potentially soon putting the pandemic behind us,” said Briefing.com.
Among individual companies, Pfizer surged 10.9 per cent, while the news weighed on Merck, which unveiled its own therapeutic in October, and Moderna, the maker of a leading coronavirus vaccine.
Merck fell 9.9 per cent and Moderna 16.6 per cent.
Peloton Interactive slumped 35.3 per cent on disappointment over the company’s forecasts that exacerbated worries shifting consumer patterns will dent growth in at-home fitness as more people get vaccinated for Covid-19.
Boeing jumped 5.4 per cent following a Wall Street Journal report the company reached a US$225 million (S$300 million) out-of-court settlement with shareholders who had sued current and former directors in a 737 Max aircraft safety negligence case.