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Stocks rose on Friday even after the release of data showing the U.S. economy unexpectedly lost jobs last month. Those gains put Wall Street on track to end the first trading week of 2021 on a high note.
The consumer discretionary and real estate sectors each rose more than 1% to lead the S&P 500 higher. Tesla shares gained more than 4%, hitting an all-time high, to power the Nasdaq. higher.
The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 50,000.
The unexpected drop in employment came as the recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country has forced state and local governments to re-take stricter measures to mitigate the outbreak. More than 21.5 million coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Biden’s team was already going to be pushing for increased fiscal stimulus and the December report provides them w/even more ammunition to make their case (while the Fed may stop thinking aloud about thinking about tapering),” Crisafulli said in a note to clients.
The benchmark 10-year yield rose to its highest level since March 20, breaking above 1.1%.
Friday’s moves come after a record-setting session. The Dow and S&P 500 closed above 31,000 and 3,800, respectively, for the first time on Thursday. It was also the first time that the Nasdaq Composite topped 13,000.
Stocks started off the new year with a slump on Monday, but the market has since churned higher despite the turmoil in Washington, where a riot at the Capitol on Wednesday delayed the procedural congressional confirmation of Presidential-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
With Friday’s gains, the Dow and S&P 500 were headed for four-day winning streaks. The Dow and S&P 500 are both up more than 1% week to date along with the Nasdaq.
This week also saw Democrats win two key Senate races in Georgia, according to NBC News projections, boosting hopes on Wall Street for further fiscal stimulus. On Thursday night, President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time that a new administration will take over on Jan. 20.
The strategist also said that stocks “could make a really big move” in the coming weeks as the level of fear in the market declines.
Gary Schlossberg, a global strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said the market’s recent moves could be reinforced by growth in corporate earnings this year.
“We think that some of the optimism will be manifested to some extent by improved earnings growth, and maybe the market is pricing in some of that as well of late, but we still think that gives the market some added mileage,” Schlossberg said.
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