Pfizer Soars, Pelton Plummets, October Jobs Data Awaits, Dow Futures Gain – Stock Market Live

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U.S. equity futures moved higher again Friday, with tech stocks set to add to their recent slate of record highs, as investors add risk in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s dovish take on rates and tapering ahead of today’s October jobs report.

© TheStreet Pfizer Soars, Pelton Plummets, October Jobs Data Awaits, Dow Futures Gain – Stock Market Live

Stocks were given an added early boost, as well, from data showing Pfizer’s PFE developing COVID antiviral pill cut the risk of hospitalization and death in trial participants by 89% in what CEO Albert Bourla called a “game changer” for the global pandemic.

Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 extended their run of record highs to six consecutive sessions last night, powered by solid gains in the semiconductor sector and broader moves north for tech stocks as benchmark 10-year note yields retreated to 1.52% following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s pledge to be “patient” when it comes to future rates hikes.

Focus shifts Friday, however, to the October payroll reading, with economists looking for a topline addition of 450,000 net new jobs and a headline unemployment rate of 4.7%

What may prove more troubling for both the Fed, however, is the fact that those likely won’t constitute evidence of a ‘substantial rebound’ in labor force participation, indicating slower-than-expected employment growth. At the same time, wages may continue to accelerate as companies entice workers with overtime, bonuses and added benefits amid one of the most severe shortages on record.

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Average hourly earnings are expected to rise by 0.4%, but reports of hiring pushes from some of the country’s biggest companies, as well as ongoing industrial act companies like Deere & Co. and Kellogg , could lift that figure even higher, stoking an already-sear set of inflation figures heading into the final two months of the year.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a modest 35 point opening gain while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 10 point move to the upside. Futures tied to the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite are indicating a 40 point gain from last night’s record close.

In terms of individual stocks, Peloton looks set to shed more than $8 billion in value after it slashed its 2022 sales forecast amid a slump in post-pandemic demand for its home fitness equipment.

Pfizer soared 9% to $47.88 following release of its COVID pill trial data, while rival Merck & Co. — which submitted and EUA for its own antiviral last month — fell 8.3% to $83.00 each

Uber Technologies shares, meanwhile, edged lower in pre-market trading after the ride-hailing group posted its first operating profit as a public company as passenger traffic increased and costs linked to adding new drivers stabilized.

Pinterest jumped 4.4% after the online visual-inspiration site posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue despite a decline in monthly users and the rollout of Pinterest TV.

In other markets, global oil prices edged modestly higher following yesterday’s decision by OPEC leaders to reject calls from President Joe Biden to boost production, with the cartel instead sticking to plans for a modest output increase of 400,000 barrels per day.

WTI futures contracts for December delivery were marked 67 cents higher at $79.48 per barrel, while Brent contracts for January delivery, the global pricing benchmark, rose 44 cents to $80.98 per barrel.

In overseas trading, a dovish European Central Bank, alongside the ongoing strength of the third quarter earnings season, pushed the Stoxx 600 0.34% higher to a fresh record peak of 484.86 points in mid-day trading in Frankfurt.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.61% lower on the session at 29,611.57 points while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index fell 0.3%.

This article was originally published by TheStreet.

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