U.S. stocks climbed on Friday to clinch weekly gains for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average following a weaker-than-expected jobs report in April. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% to around 4,232, a closing record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.9% to end around 34,549, a new all-time high, based on preliminary numbers. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.9% to finish near 13,752. For the week, the S&P rose 1.2%, the Dow gained 2%, and the Nasdaq fell 1.5%. The U.S. economy added 266,000 in jobs, falling short of MarketWatch-polled estimates for a million gains. Investors suggested the bullish response to disappointing economic data reflected hopes that it may push back the timing for tapering the Federal Reserve's asset purchases and plan for rate hikes, moves that could weigh on the buoyant mood on Wall Street. In company news, shares of Cigna Corp. gained 1.6% Friday after the health services company reported first-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Oil futures gained on Friday, with prices for the U.S. and global crude benchmarks up a second week as traders continued to assess the demand outlook for the market. Some traders expect an economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe to lead to greater oil consumption, but India's ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases remains a key concern. June West Texas Intermediate crude rose 19 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $64.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices based on the front-month contract gained 2.1% for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Gold futures climbed Friday for a third straight session to mark their highest finish in almost three months. Following data showing weaker-than-expected U.S. nonfarm jobs growth in April, Chintan Karnani, director of research at Insignia Consultants, said he does not expect U.S. interest rates to be raised at the Federal Reserve's June meeting, and the U.S. dollar index is "on the defensive." The ICE U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.7% Friday, on track for a weekly loss of over 1%, providing support for dollar-denominated gold. The June gold contract rose $15.60, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,831.30 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since Feb. 10, FactSet data show. For the week, prices based on the most-active contract climbed about 3.6%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
The World Health Organization said Friday it has listed the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm for emergency use, allowing it to be rolled out across the world. The vaccine, which is made by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group, "has the potential to rapidly accelerate COVID-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk," said Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products. Simão said the agency will encourage the manufacturer to participate in the WHO's Covax program, which aims to get vaccines to poorer countries, that are lagging in the global vaccine push due to a lack of supply. The WHO has already granted emergency use authorization to vaccines developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech , AstraZeneca , Serum Institute of India, J&J unit Janssen and Moderna . Earlier this week, Reuters reported that a document it had obtained suggested the WHO had "very low confidence" in data provided by Sinopharm on its COVID vaccine regarding the risk of serious side effects in some patients. On Friday, the WHO said its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, or SAGE, conducted on-site inspections at the production facility before reaching their decision. SAGE is recommending the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older in a two-dose regimen, separated by three to four weeks. Vaccine efficacy for symptomatic and hospitalized disease was estimated to be 79%, all age groups combined. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Nikola Corp. in a filing Friday disclosed a new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry. The electric-truck maker said it received a subpoena on March 24 from the Division of Enforcement. The subpoena was related to the company's projected 2021 cash flow and anticipated use of funds from 2021 capital raises, Nikola said. "The company is committed to cooperating fully with the Staff of the Division of Enforcement" investigation as well as the Southern District of New York's ongoing investigation, it said. Nikola "has made voluminous productions of information and made witnesses available for interviews" and will continue to comply with the requests, it said. Shares of Nikola continued to rally on Friday, up more than 10%, and the company earlier on the day reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.