United States stocks closed the trading week at new records with NASDAQ hitting 16,000 points for the first time, following a strong jobs increase report from the US Labor Department.
US employers added 531,000 jobs in October as unemployment dropped to 4.6%. The Labor Department's report caused stocks to soar and comes amid a decline in COVID-19 infections in the US.
The wide-ranging rally came after US drugmaker Pfizer's announcement of a new experimental antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Pfizer was up 7.9% after it claimed its new drug would cut the risk of developing severe COVID-19 by 89%.
The Labor Department also noted annual hourly earnings increased 4.9% in October as a shortage of workers continued to boost wages. Many US workers have quit jobs they found unsatisfactory in what is being termed as the great resignation
The United States GDP third quarter also reported strong growth, with ten of eleven major sectors in the S&P 500 increasing, and three sectors gaining more than one percentage point each. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to 36,347 on Friday.
Job growth was widespread, with notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and transportation and warehousing. However, employment in public education declined over the month.
The number of unemployed persons, at 7.4 million, continued to trend down. Both measures are down considerably from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession.
However, they remain above their levels before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 per cent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020)