US stocks end mixed as DJIA notches first daily gain in four sessions on strong US consumer data 

The data showed US retail sales rose 1.9% month, well ahead of estimates of around 0.6%

Pfizer - Wall Street to open on the front foot as momentum continues

4:05 pm: US equities end mixed session

US stocks closed mixed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average achieved its first daily gain in four sessions on strong US consumer data.  

On the day, the DJIA jumped 112 points, or 0.39%, to 28,606. The S&P 500 increased a tiny 0.01% to 3,483, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.36% to 11,671 as some big tech names sold off late in the session. 

But for the week, both Dow and the S&P 500 notched their third straight weekly gain and the Nasdaq posted a four-week winning streak.

12:10 pm: US markets hold onto retail bounce

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 267 points, 0.9%, to 28,762.2; the Nasdaq gained 41 points, 0.35%, to 11,754.2; and the S&P 500 improved 20 points, 0.6%, to 3,503.73. 

The US markets are on pace to break a three-day losing streak after retail sales improved 1.9% in September, according to data from the Census Bureau, which came in well ahead of a Dow Jones estimate of 0.7%. 

Also inspiring traders was news from Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) that the company plans to apply for emergency use authorization of its cornoavirus vaccine candidate once it reaches saftey milestones, which the company said it expects to occur in late November, per CNBC

Pfizer stock was up 2.2% to $37.33.

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9.42am: Wall Street starts in green

The main Wall Street indices have started Friday’s session in the green as market sentiment was boosted by a better than expected set of US retail sales figures.

In the first minutes of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.67% to 28,685 while the S&P 500 rose 0.48% to 3,499 and the Nasdaq was up 0.51% at 11,773.

The data for September showed that US retail sales rose 1.9% month, well ahead of estimates of around 0.6% and emphasizing that consumers are still spending on goods despite the raging pandemic, high unemployment, and a seemingly sluggish economic recovery.

The data beat also seemed to overshadow slightly more negative industrial production data, which showed a 0.6% decline in September, below expectations.

8.00am: Wall Street to open on the front foot

US indices are expected to open modestly higher, continuing the momentum seen in yesterday afternoon’s trading session.

Spread betting quotes suggest the Dow Jones Industrial Average will open at around 28,537, up 43 points on last night’s close. The broader-based S&P 500 is tipped to open 4 points firmer at 3,487.

The tech-laced NASDAQ Composite is slated for a 192 point rise to 11,906.

Sentiment has been boosted by some positive developments on the race to develop a vaccine to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Drugs giant Pfizer has indicated it could file for emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration by late November for the COVID-19 vaccine it is making working on with BioNTech.

“It will be a busy end to the week for US economic releases, with September retail sales and IP [industrial production] reports set to provide further insight into the extent to which GDP [gross domestic product] has rebounded in Q3 [third quarter],” said Daiwa Capital Markets.

“We expect stronger auto spending to dominate a further modest rise in retail spending but core spending seems set to have remained much more subdued, admittedly having rebounded pretty strongly over recent months, with sales in several key areas having already moved above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the jump in manufacturing payrolls last month bodes well for a further lift in factory output for the fifth consecutive month,” Daiwa said

“In addition, the preliminary results of the University of Michigan’s consumer survey for October will also be worth watching,” it added.

Meanwhile, the steady upward trend in confirmed US COVID-19cases continues, with 63,600 yesterday, up from 56,200 on Thursday of last week, reports Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“The seven-day average has risen by 55.5% since the September 12 low. These numbers are disconcerting, but note that testing has increased by 35.7% over the same period. The test positivity rate has increased over the past month, but not by much, and the recent trend is steady,” Shepherdson noted.

Four things to watch for on Friday:

  • Macro data will be in focus with the latest batch of US retail sales figures for September due this afternoon. The data is expected to show a 0.5% rise, slightly below the 0.6% rise in August
  • Share price reaction from pharma giant Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) after the group said it is on track to know whether its coronavirus vaccine candidate is effective by the end of October, with a view to applying to the FDA for emergency use authorization by the second half of November
  • Graphics card Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) could also find its stock in the spotlight following news its acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM could be targeted by Chinese regulators
  • There may also be some political developments following last night’s parallel presidential election town halls of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden

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