S&P 500, Nasdaq Data Finest Week Since November By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York

By Caroline Valetkevitch

(Reuters) – US stocks rose on Friday and the index hit record highs as a less-than-expected labor market rebound last month highlighted the need for more government aid to prop up the economy.

Economic talks, positive gains, and advances in vaccine adoption have bolstered bets on a swift economic recovery, setting the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on track to post their largest weekly percentage gains since the US election in early November.

Labor ministry data showed job losses in manufacturing and construction, the two sectors that supported the economy. The loss of jobs in December was also lower than originally assumed.

US President Joe Biden’s drive to pass a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus assistance bill gained momentum on Friday. The US House of Representatives was due to vote on a budget that would allow the law to be passed in the coming weeks without Republican support.

“The upcoming stimulus package will be big,” said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, a Toledo-based investment advisory firm.

“You have a situation where there is a lot of money on the sidelines and bonds are really underperforming. This has helped some sectors that have done really badly.”

The gain rose 85.2 points, or 0.27%, to 31,141.06, the S&P 500 rose 14.66 points, or 0.38%, to 3,886.4, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 71.41 points, or 0.52 % to 13,849.15.

The S&P 500 tech sector slipped after hitting a record high at the beginning of the session.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 rose after the drug maker asked U.S. health officials to approve its single-dose emergency COVID-19 vaccine.

Shares of GameStop Corp. (NYSE :), caught in the recent social media hyped trading frenzy, was higher on Friday after online broker Robinhood lifted all buying restrictions imposed at the height of the battle between amateur investors and Wall Street hedge funds .

So far, stronger-than-expected company results in the fourth quarter have pushed analyst expectations higher, and the S&P 500 companies are on track to deliver earnings growth for the period rather than declining as originally expected.

Advancing issues outperformed declining issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 2.46 to 1; On Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.78 to 1 favored the advanced.

The S&P 500 posted 33 new 52-week highs and no new lows. The Nasdaq Composite made 267 new highs and four new lows.

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