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Stock Market News for Nov 8, 2021

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Benchmarks closed higher on Friday lifted by solid October jobs report and encouraging COVID-19 antiviral drug results from Pfizer.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 203.72 points, or 0.6%, to close at 36,327.95, lifted by 5.4% gain in shares of The Boeing Company (BA - Free Report) . Boeing carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 rose 17.47 points, or 0.4%, to close at a record high of 4,697.53 on Friday. 10 of the 11 major sectors of the broader index closed in the green led by 1.4% gain in the energy sector. Despite positive results from Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) , the healthcare sector failed to rise and closed 1% lower for the session.

The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at an all-time high of 15,971.59, after adding 31.28 points, or 0.2%, led by 7.5% jump in the share of Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) . However, gains were capped by a 35.4% and 16.6% decline in shares of Peloton Interactive, Inc. (PTON - Free Report) and Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) , respectively.

On Friday, the fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 6.7%, to close at 16.48. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.16-to-1 ratio. A total of 11.5 billion shares were traded on the last day of the week, higher than the last 20-session average of 10.5 billion.

Pfizer Announces COVID Pill

On Friday, vaccine maker Pfizer released a study of its COVID-19 antiviral drug, leading its shares to shoot up 10.9%. The data from a Phase 2/3 study of the experimental pill against COVID-19 are positive. It reduces chances of hospitalization or death for adults by 89%. The risk of developing the severe disease due to the deadly virus can be lowered and this news has added to the positive investor sentiments. Pfizer’s news boosted shares of airlines, hotels and restaurants. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL - Free Report) jumped 5.8%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) closed nearly 9% higher.

October Jobs Report Come in Solid

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Nov 5 that the country added 531,000 in October, much higher than the consensus estimate of 442,000 and upwardly revised September figure of 312,000. Stronger-than-expected job additions last month helped the unemployment rate slid 0.2 percentage points to 4.6%. The government states that there have been solid job additions in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing spaces.

In total, the private sector added 604,000 new jobs last month, while there was a significant decline in jobs from the government. The report also presented upwardly revised job additions in August, up from 366,000 to 483,000. Additionally, average hourly earnings rose 0.4% in October and is now 4.9% higher in the last 12 months. While higher wages are adding to inflation and increasing the cost of living, the labor force is paying higher prices for rent, food, gas and transportation.

Weekly Roundup

For the week ending Nov 5, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 1.4%, 2% and 3%, respectively. All the major benchmarks booked solid gains for the fifth consecutive week and the Dow had its longest winning streak since the week since 2019. During the week the Federal Reserve revealed plans to begin tapering aid that it gave during the pandemic, by the end of November.