Friday November 5th


Stock futures extend gains after better-than-expected October jobs report

U.S. stock index futures rose in morning trading Friday after the October jobs report came in better than expected, boosting optimism about the economic recovery. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 120 points, while S&P 500 futures gained 0.4% and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.3%. The move for stocks came as job gains for the month of October came in at 531,000. Consensus estimates called for 450,000 jobs added, according to Dow Jones. The report also revised September’s disappointing number up to 312,000 job gains from 194,000 previously, and increased its August number by a similar amount. Friday’s report carried extra weight for economic forecasters “as it is the first full month of hiring following the expiration of federal enhanced unemployment benefits, while public health has simultaneously improved and labor demand has remained strong,” Goldman Sachs’ Chris Hussey wrote Thursday. The jobs report was not the only optimistic economic news to reach the market on Friday. A major development in the fight against the pandemic boosted shares of Pfizer, which rose more than 9% premarket after the company said its Covid-19 drug, used with an HIV drug, cut the risk of hospitalization by 89%. Peloton shares cratered more than 32% in premarket trading after the fitness platform and maker of interactive treadmills and exercise bikes reported a much larger loss than expected and cut its full-year outlook as fitness buffs headed back to the gym and away from at-home workouts. The company also cited ongoing supply chain challenges for its “challenged visibility” over the near term that CEO John Foley said is causing the company to lower its expectations. Recovery stock Expedia saw its shares roar higher by 11.6% premarket a day after the company said renewed travel demand boosted its top and bottom lines higher than analysts had expected. Thursday’s regular trading session saw the S&P 500 gain 0.4% to close at a record high in its sixth-straight winning day. The Nasdaq Composite notched its ninth consecutive positive session, rising 0.8% to a record close. The Dow bucked the trend and dipped 33.35 points. The technology sector led the S&P 500, up 1.5% Thursday. Financials lagged with a 1.3% loss. Market participants digested the Federal Reserve’s plan to begin tapering its pandemic aid by the end of November, putting the central bank on track to end its asset purchase program by the middle of next year. Investors also received a fresh labor market reading Thursday as first-time jobless claims totaled 269,000 last week, the lowest pandemic-era total and lower than expected. All three major averages are on track to end the week higher. The Dow is up 0.9% on the week, while the S&P 500 is 1.6% higher and the Nasdaq Composite is up 2.9%. Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as shares in Hong Kong led losses among the region’s major markets. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.41% to finish the trading day at 24,870.51. Mainland Chinese stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai composite down 1% to 3,491.57 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.637% to 14,462.62. Shares of Chinese property developers in Hong Kong fell. China Evergrande Group slipped 2.54% while China Vanke dropped 1.39% and Sunac China Holdings plunged 6.78%. The Hang Seng Properties index dipped 0.5% to 29,881.42. Elsewhere, Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed as South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.47% to close at 2,969.27. Shares in Japan also declined on the day as the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.61% to 29,611.57 and the Topix index shed 0.69% to 2,041.42. Taiwan’s Taiex jumped 1.28% to finish the trading day at 17,296.90. Oil prices rose on Friday after OPEC+ producers rebuffed a U.S. call to raise supply to cool the market, sticking to plans for a gradual increase in output after cuts made in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Brent crude rose 36 cents, or 0.45%, to $80.90 a barrel after touching $81.79. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 60 cents, or 0.76%, to $79.41 after rising as high as $80.17. Gold prices were on track to post a gain of nearly 1% for the week, as the non-yielding metal’s appeal was boosted by major central banks standing pat on interest rates, with focus now shifting to a monthly U.S. jobs report due later in the day. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,794.83 per ounce by 0948 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.2% at $1,796.90 per ounce.