By Karen Langley, Caitlin Ostroff and Frances Yoon
U.S. stock indexes headed for records Friday as this week's
revival of stimulus negotiations bolstered expectations that the
economy can weather the pandemic's continued spread.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 170 points, or
0.6%, putting it on pace for a record and its second close over
30000. The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq
Composite added 0.4%, with both indexes also on pace for new highs.
All three indexes are on course for modest weekly gains.
Investors have watched closely in recent days as momentum grows
in Washington for a new coronavirus aid package. A sharp decline in
job growth in November added to the sense of urgency, with members
of both parties pointing to Friday's jobs report as impetus for
"You are still looking at an economy that is in pain," said Amy
Kong, chief investment officer at Barrett Asset Management. "You
want to make sure that the household income is continuing on, or
the momentum is there, because I believe once household income gets
to a level where it impacts confidence, it's going to be hard to
get folks to spend again."
U.S. consumers boosted spending in October for a sixth straight
month, but recent survey data suggests their views of the economic
outlook dimmed in November. Consumer spending accounts for more
than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
The November jobs report showed employers added 245,000 jobs
last month, less than half the 610,000 jobs added in October and
below economists' expectations. The unemployment rate edged down to
6.7% from 6.9% in October, partly because fewer Americans were
looking for work.
"The jobs report's important," said Tom Hainlin, national
investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. "But it just
kind of confirms what we're seeing, which is there's only so much
recovery we're going to see until we can get the economy fully
Newly reported Covid-19 cases in the U.S. hit a record high
Thursday, as did deaths reported in a day, as the global death toll
from the coronavirus pandemic passed 1.5 million. Hospitalizations
also hit a record, with 100,667 people in the U.S. admitted as of
Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Stocks have posted modest gains this week, after rallying last
month as investors cheered progress toward Covid-19 vaccines that
could help accelerate the economic recovery. The S&P 500 is up
1.4% for the week, while the Dow industrials are on pace for a 0.8%
weekly gain. The Russell 2000 small-cap index is on course to rise
1.4% this week.
"The market is now pausing a little bit, but the underlying
story is still intact -- that there is basically a global
recovery," said Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset
Management. "It is difficult to see what can change this kind of
positive outlook for equities."
Among individual stocks, shares of DocuSign gained 5% after the
company provided guidance that topped analysts' expectations. Ulta
Beauty shares declined 4% after its chief executive said the
company is expecting fourth-quarter comparable-store sales to fall
between 12% and 14%.
In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
rose to 0.964%, from 0.919% on Thursday.
Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil markets, climbed 1% to
$49.18 a barrel after OPEC and a group of Russia-led oil producers
agreed to increase their collective output by 500,000 barrels a day
The world's biggest producers are betting that the worst of a
pandemic-inspired shock to demand is behind them after curtailed
travel weighed heavily on oil prices this year.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6%. The
Nikkei declined 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite was flat.
In Hong Kong, shares of China National Offshore Oil and
Semiconductor Manufacturing International dropped over 2% after the
U.S. Defense Department added the state oil giant and chip maker to
a list of nearly three dozen companies the U.S. says helps the
country's military. Overall, the Hang Seng Index rose 0.4%.
The blacklist, which the U.S. launched last month, has hit
stocks and bonds of the targeted Chinese companies. Index compilers
FTSE Russell, JPMorgan and MSCI are rethinking their stance on
these securities targeted by the U.S. government and have been
collecting investor feedback.
Write to Karen Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org, Caitlin Ostroff
at email@example.com and Frances Yoon at
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 04, 2020 15:09 ET (20:09 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.