Dow futures up 140 points after stronger-than-expected October jobs report

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U.S. stocks rose Friday, with major indexes pushing further into record territory after a stronger-than-expected October jobs report.

Pfizer Inc. shares surged as the vaccine maker released a study of its COVID antiviral drug suggesting it is successful in combating the illness.

How are stock-index futures trading?

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 232.69 points, or 0.6%, to 36,356.92.
  • The S&P 500 was up 31.60 points, or 0.7%, at 4,711.66.
  • The Nasdaq Composite advanced 95.41 points, or 0.6%, to 16,035.72.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a five-day winning streak, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each logged a sixth straight record close.

What’s driving the market?

The U.S. economy created 531,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a rise of 450,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% last month from 4.8%. Also, September job gains were raised to 312,000 from a previous estimate of 194,000, while August jobs were raised to 483,000 from 366,000.

“Payrolls surged in October with the trifecta of waning COVID concerns, back-to-school season, and declining unemployment benefits contributing to a strong uptick in hiring,” Peter Essele, Head of Portfolio Management for Commonwealth Financial Network, said. “Notable increases came from goods-producing industries like construction and manufacturing, a sign that the recovery is permeating industries beyond the work-from-home segments of the economy. Transportation and trade also experienced strong gains, which could help supply-chain bottlenecks ahead of the holiday shopping season.”

“Today’s release flashed a green light for investors, signaling that any immediate concerns are unwarranted,” he added. “The release is affirmation that the economy is on the right footing and there exists a possibility that the Santa Claus rally could be one of the strongest in recent memory,”

Investors were also sifting through a heavy slate of corporate earnings reports as the busiest portion of what’s been an upbeat third-quarter earnings season comes to an end.

September consumer credit will be released at 3 p.m. Eastern.

What companies are in focus?

  • Pfizer shares climbed 9% after the pharmaceutical company said its COVID antiviral reduced the risk of hospitalizations or death by 89% in a Phase 2/3 study.
  • Shares of rival Merck & Co. Inc. fell 9%. Merck said last month that its experimental treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50% in a late-stage trial. It has already submitted an application to U.S. regulators for authorization.
  • Shares of Peloton Interactive Inc. tumbled 34% after the exercise equipment maker producted a weaker-than-expected holiday outlook and cut its full-year forecast.
  • Shares of Uber Technologies Inc. UBER were up 4%, after the ride-hailing company late Thursday said that third-quarter revenue grew in both of its major businesses across all regions as COVID-19 restrictions eased, though losses also more than doubled.
  • Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares rose 11% after the media group said it’s mulling a sale or spinoff of its Starz unit.
  • Airbnb Inc. shares rose 9.2% after the travel-booking company posted its highest-ever quarterly revenue and net income.
  • Pinterest Inc. stock rose 3.1% after reporting strong sales and earnings, but fewer-than-expected monthly users.
  • Square Inc. SQ late Thursday reported lower-than-expected revenue for the third quarter as less volatile pricing for bitcoin affected demand, though the company’s chief financial officer noted “strength” in volume during October. Shares rose 3.2%.
  • Shares of Shake Shack Inc. SHAK rose 16.5% after its outlook and weaker-than-expected revenue overshadowed a smaller-than-expected loss.
  • GoPro Inc. GPRO late Thursday delivered results that beat expectations for its most recent quarter and expressed confidence in its ability to hit its full-year targets, despite a continuing supply crunch that may limit upside. Shares rose more than 6%.
  • Online auto retailer Carvana Co. CVNA shares fell 5.7% after it said a continued wave of demand for used cars nearly doubled its quarterly revenue, though efforts to build inventories saw it run against “significant operational constraints.”

How are other assets trading?

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note BX:TMUBMUSD10Y fell 3 basis points to 1.493%. Yields and debt prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index   a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.2%.
  • Oil futures were rebounding from Thursday’s losses. The U.S. benchmark CL00 CLZ22 up 1.6% at $80.04 a barrel. Gold futures GC00 were up 0.6% at $1,804.60 an ounce.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5%.
  • The Shanghai Composite fell 1%, the Hang Seng Index lost 1.4% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.6%.
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