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U.S. equities post mixed weekly results amid surging COVID-19 cases, vaccine news

New York, US | Xinhua | Wall Street’s major averages posted mixed results in the week as investors digested news on a coronavirus vaccine candidate, while continuing to show concerns over soaring U.S. COVID-19 infections.

For the week ending Friday, the Dow climbed 4.1 percent, the S&P 500 gained 2.2 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.6 percent.

The S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index, which is designed to track the performance of the 50 largest Chinese companies listed on U.S. exchanges by total market cap, logged a weekly rise of 2.4 percent.

Wall Street experienced a volatile week as U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech’s announcement of hopeful early vaccine results caused big market rotations out of the high-flying tech names and stay-at-home beneficiaries toward more cyclical parts that have lagged behind during the pandemic.

The gains in the Dow and the S&P 500 narrowed, and the Nasdaq managed to recoup some of the losses as the week wore on.

“Investors are looking for any sign of a timeline to the end of the pandemic, when vaccines can be widely available to the American public and economic activity can resume completely unrestricted,” analysts at Zacks Investment Management said in a note on Saturday.

“As we wait for the outcome, there is still uncertainty causing concern for many investors,” they added.

The United States has reported more than 10.8 million COVID-19 cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 245,000 as of Saturday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday warned that a record surge in COVID-19 cases across the country could hinder the recent economic recovery.

“We do see the economy continuing on a solid path of recovery, but the main risk we see to that is the further spread of disease here in the United States,” Powell said during a virtual event held by the European Central Bank.

“With the virus now spreading, the next few months could be challenging,” Powell said, adding the Fed and Congress may need to do more to strengthen the recovery.

Wall Street also pored through a batch of economic data.

U.S. Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.3 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index increased 0.5 percent for the 12 months ending in October.

U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, came in at 709,000 in the week ending Nov. 7, following an upwardly revised 757,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. Economists polled by Bloomberg had projected 731,000 in initial claims for last week.



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