Wall Street Closing
New York, U.S. stocks were little changed Friday as traders sought clarity around the U.S. presidential and congressional election results. Sentiment was lifted by better-than-expected U.S. unemployment data.
The three major indexes posted their best weekly gain since April. The Dow industrials and broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index each climbed over 7 percent, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq surged 9 percent.
In U.S. economic news, employers added a more-than-expected 638,000 jobs in October, down modestly from the previous month, while the unemployment rate fell a bigger-than-expected 1 percent to 6.9 percent.
Gold rose, posting its best week since July, as the dollar weakened. Futures climbed 0.5 percent to $1,955.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil fell below $40 as lengthy vote counting in the U.S. election kept the market nervous and new lockdowns in Europe to halt surging Covid-19 infections sparked concern over fuel demand. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.65, or 4.3 percent, to $37.14 a barrel. Despite Friday’s drop, the contract gained 4.5 percent for the week.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 66.78, or 0.2 percent, to 28,323.40. Eighteen of the index’s 30 components declined, led by a 2 percent drop by UnitedHealth. Dow Inc lost 1.5 percent, and American Express and Chevron each fell 1.4 percent. Johnson & Johnson and Walmart led gainers, advancing 1.8 and 1.6 percent, respectively.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index was virtually unchanged, falling 1.01 to 3,509.44.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index also was little changed, rising 4.30 to 11,895.23. Facebook dropped 0.4 percent, Amazon lost 0.3 percent, and Google-parent Alphabet declined 0.2 percent. Netflix gained 0.2 percent.
Source: Saudi Press Agency