Stocks were flat Friday as investors took a pause after a four-day rally and continued to await election results from key states. However, the three major indices posted strong weekly gains.
The S&P 500 closed out the week higher by more than 7%, as tech stocks and health-care shares advanced strongly. The advance marked the index’s best since mid-April. The Nasdaq outperformed with a weekly gain of about 9%, and the Dow increased by 6.9%.
Better-than-expected jobs data helped to curb Friday’s losses. The Labor Department reported that the economy created 638,000 jobs last month, more than the 580,000 expected, while upwardly revising September’s data to 672,000. Friday’s jobs report also saw upward revisions to the last couple months’ worth of payrolls — a sign that soaring new COVID-19 infections aren’t yet preventing new jobs from being created.
Meanwhile, shares of Square (SQ) surged to a record high on Friday after more than doubling its quarterly sales amid strong demand for its digital financial service transactions during the pandemic, and posting its first quarter in which Bitcoin revenue topped $1 billion. Shares of Uber (UBER) pared losses from the overnight session to close higher after the company reported that gross bookings for its unprofitable food delivery business outpaced those of its core ride-hailing unit for a second straight quarter. And shares of Peloton (PTON) ticked down after the company warned of rising supply chain costs and extended delivery delays, offsetting strong third-quarter sales and guidance for the current quarter.
The election remained the key focal point for Wall Street. As of Friday morning and three days after Election Day, several key states including Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina had yet to be called in favor of either candidate. Both candidates still have at least one path to victory depending on the outcome of the states still outstanding.
Vice President Joe Biden had 264 electoral votes and President Donald Trump had 214, according to the Associated Press’s tally as of Friday afternoon. Candidates require 270 electoral votes to be named the winner of the election.
States called for Trump: Ky., W. Va., S.C., Ala., Miss., Tenn., Okla., Ark., Ind., N.D., S.D., Wyo., La., Neb. (4 of 5 electoral votes), Kan., Mo., Idaho, Utah, Ohio, Iowa, Mont., Fla., Texas
States called for Biden: Vt., Va., Conn., Del., Ill., Md., Mass., N.J., R.I., N.Y., N.M., D.C., Colo., N.H., Calif., Ore., Wash., Hawaii, Minn., Ariz., Maine (3 of 4 electoral votes), Wis., Mich.
A win for Biden has been viewed as increasingly likely, given the candidate would need to capture just one more of the outstanding battleground states to take the White House. He said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that he had “no doubt” that when the counting is completed, he and Senator Kamala Harris “will be declared the winners.”
Trump, however, doubled down on his calls to “stop…
Go to the news source: Stocks take a breather amid election drama; October jobs data helps