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Wall Street jumped on Friday as encouraging earnings stoked risk appetite and United States President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID advisory team said it was not considering a nationwide shutdown, but oil prices slid as Libyan output rose and investors worried the resurgent pandemic could hurt global demand.
The bellwether S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 both reached record closing highs.
Upbeat results from Cisco Systems Inc and Walt Disney Co helped send Wall Street’s three major stock indexes higher.
“Profits have been refreshingly healthy,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York. “It’s really a credit to companies’ ability to adapt and grow even in the face of the crisis.”
Economically sensitive cyclicals and small-cap stocks, which led the rally at the beginning of the week, once again outperformed. On Monday, investor risk appetite was boosted by Pfizer Inc’s announcement that the COVID-19 vaccine being developed with German partner BioNTech SE appeared to be 90 percent effective.
Biden’s pandemic advisory board said there was no plan to enact a nationwide shutdown.
“The recent vaccine headlines have clearly been a positive, but there is still uncertainty and concerns regarding shutdowns,” Carter added. “Biden’s recent indication that the US economy may remain open certainly helps market sentiment.”
The S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow posted their second straight weekly gains, and their best two-week runs since April, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session below last Friday’s close.
Economic data released on Friday showed consumers were growing more pessimistic, while tepid inflation reflected slack labour markets and sluggish demand.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 399.64 points, or 1.37 percent, to 29,479.81, the S&P 500 gained 48.14 points, or 1.36 percent, to 3,585.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 119.70 points, or 1.02 percent, to 11,829.29.
European stocks ended flat as rising fears of economic damage from the pandemic offset recent vaccine optimism. Still, the benchmark index notched its second straight week of gains.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.01 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.83 percent.
US Treasury yields were mixed as investors consolidated positions before the weekend and remained cautious given the surge in coronavirus cases. But the yield curve steepened on Friday, after flattening the previous session.
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 2/32 in price to yield 0.893 percent, from 0.886 percent late on Thursday.
The 30-year bond last rose 6/32 in price to yield 1.6442 percent, from 1.652 percent late on Thursday.
US crude dropped 2.41 percent to settle at $40.13 a barrel, while Brent settled at $42.78 a barrel, down 1.72 percent on the day.
The dollar was down, but safe-haven yen and Swiss franc currencies strengthened, reflecting a loss of risk appetite driven by vaccine hopes.
The dollar index fell 0.23 percent, with the euro up 0.23 percent to $1.1831.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.48 percent versus the greenback at 104.64 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3195, up 0.62 percent on the day.
Gold prices rose as rising global coronavirus infections sparked renewed fears about the pandemic’s economic toll.
Spot gold added 0.6 percent to $1,887.78 an ounce.