Wall Street finished the week in style, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing Friday on new record highs, erasing their correction from last week, prompting a disappointment over January’s job growth in the United States. The ranking was supported by expectations on the health front (decline in cases of Covid in the United States, increased vaccination) and the possibility of a swift implementation of Joe Biden’s support package. On average, corporate earnings appear to outperform analysts. Over the week, WTI oil soared almost 9 percent, while long-term yields affirmed their power, and over the week, the dollar rose 0.5 percent.
The Dow Jones index rose 0.3% to 31,148 points at the close, touching its record high of 31,188 points on January 25, while the large S&P 500 index advanced 0.39% to 3,886 points, a new record high. Rich in electronics and biotech stocks, the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.57 percent to 13,856 points, again a new all-time high.
The three indices, which lost 3.2 percent, 3.3 percent, and 3.5 percent respectively last week, more than removed these losses this week and reported gains of 4.6 percent (S&P 500) and 6 percent (Nasdaq) over the last 5 sessions of 3.8 percent (Dow Jones).
Ten of the 11 S&P 500 business indices grew on Friday, beginning with cyclical industries, including basic materials (up 1.7 percent), telecom services (up 0.95 percent), consumer discretionary (up 0.9 percent), basic (up 0.9 percent), and energy (up 0.9 percent). Technology (-0.2 percent) paused after their previous highs, victims of profit-taking.
Moreover, the U.S. trade balance was a deficit of $66.6 billion in December, relative to a forecast of $66 billion and $69 billion in November.
Markets have replied favorably to the vaccination campaign’s reports. Johnson and Johnson (up 1.5 percent) reported that it had filed its patent for its coronavirus vaccine, which, after the Phase 3 clinical trial, demonstrated estimated effectiveness of 66 percent in the United States. The FDA, the U.S. Drug Administration, announced it would hold a February 26 meeting of its vaccine advisory committee.
This vaccine is in comparison to those previously administered in the United States by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. By the close of the first half of 2021, Washington has already purchased 100 million doses from JNJ for distribution. So far, 35.2 million vaccine doses have been injected across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With a continuing decrease in the number of new cases of Covid and hospitalizations, the health situation continues to change in the United States, despite worries about the rate of transmission of new variants of the virus. The number of new daily cases dropped by around 60 percent in one month, while hospitalizations according to health officials, fell by more than 40 percent.