S&P 500 hits all-time closing high after earnings, oil drops on pandemic worry
By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street jumped on Friday as encouraging earnings stoked risk appetite and 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.
By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street jumped on Friday as encouraging earnings stoked risk appetite and 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
"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
President-elect Joe Biden's pandemic advisory board said there was no plan to enact a nation-wide 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 U.S. 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 labor markets and sluggish demand.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 399.64 points, or 1.37%, to 29,479.81, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 48.14 points, or 1.36%, to 3,585.15 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 119.70 points, or 1.02%, 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 <.STOXX> rose 0.01% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.83%.
U.S. Treasury yields were mixed as investors consolidated positions ahead of 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
The 30-year bond
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 <.DXY> fell 0.23%, with the euro
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.48% versus the greenback at 104.64 per dollar, while Sterling
Gold prices rose as rising global coronavirus infections sparked renewed fears over the pandemic's economic toll.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Editing by David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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