U.S. equity markets picked up momentum Friday as all three of the major market averages hit fresh records.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 160 points, or 0.25%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 0.69% and 0.6%, respectively. Energy stocks led the rally as oil tops $46 per barrel level.
Driving the gains investor optimism that COVID-19 relief progress is being made on Capitol Hill after November employment growth trailed economists' predictions.
MIXED JOBS DATA
The nonfarm payrolls report showed the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November as the unemployment rate fell to 6.7%. Wall Street economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting the addition of 469,000 jobs.
October's initially reported gains were trimmed to 610,000, down from 638,000.
COVID-19 RELIEF TALKS ONGOING
A slowdown in the addition of jobs is one of the factors Congress must weigh amid negotiations over COVID-19 relief.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a Republican, said Thursday a deal was "within reach" and that he hoped for a package by yearend. He has supported about $500 billion in stimulus while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, both Democrats, called the bipartisan $908 billion package a starting point.
Looking at stocks…
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %BABOEING COMPANY232.10-5.25-2.21%
Boeing Co. received an order from European budget carrier Ryanair for more than 75 of its 737 MAX jets, the first since the Federal Aviation Administration last month cleared the aircraft to return to the skies. The 737 Max was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes killed all 346 people aboard.
Walgreens Boots Alliance shares were set to continue higher after gaining more than 7% on Thursday following the announcement of Walgreens Advertising Group, a retail media offering that aims to deliver personalized experiences to shoppers.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %WBAWALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.42.99+0.17+0.40%
In earnings, Ulta Beauty said same-store sales fell 8.9% from a year ago as government restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 resulted in reduced operating hours and limits on store capacities. Earlier in the week, Kohl's inked a deal to open Sephora boutiques in 850 stores.
The eSignature provider Docusign Inc. reported quarterly earnings and revenue that exceed Wall Street forecasts and gave an upbeat full-year outlook.
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %DOCUDOCUSIGN INC.244.01+13.00+5.63%
Looking at other commodities, Gold slid by $4.50 to $1,836.50 per ounce.
European markets were trading higher across the board with Germany’s DAX 30 up 0.03%, France’s CAC 40 higher by 0.26% and Britain’s FTSE 100 advancing 0.53%.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.22%, China’s Shanghai Composite index edged up 0.07% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4%.