Stocks ended the week higher after a slew of better-than-anticipated earnings helped prop up gains among the major indexes on Friday, closing out a roller coaster of a week marked by promising vaccine prospects and heightened trade tensions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 400 points, or 1.4%, on Friday, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed roughly 1.4% and 1.1%, respectively—solid gains that helped push all of the major indexes higher for the week, including a new all-time high close for the S&P 500, which is up 10% this year.
Despite the media and entertainment giant’s first quarterly loss in more than four decades, shares of Disney were among those leading Dow and S&P gains, adding more than 2% on milder-than-expected expenses and bolstered sentiment from the growth of its streaming service Disney+, which has a staggering 73 million paid subscribers just one year after launch.
Nasdaq-listed shares of sports-betting firm DraftKings climbed 4% after the Boston-based company beat earnings expectations on Friday, upped its fiscal-year revenue guidance and reported more than a million users for the first time ever.
IT staple Cisco got a big post-earnings boost on Friday: After reporting a surprise profit of $3.2 billion, its shares surged more than 7%.
Adding to a crop of tech firms like Airbnb planning IPOs in the coming weeks, delivery service DoorDash finally unveiled its prospectus for the San Francisco firm’s planned public market debut, reporting $1.9 billion in revenue during the first nine months of the year but not yet issuing a share offering price.
Global markets, meanwhile, were mixed on Friday: The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.4%, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.3%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended the day virtually flat.
“Third-quarter earnings season has been outstanding relative to expectations by many measures, and the huge upside surprise in earnings may get more attention as more political uncertainty clears,” says LPL Financial Equity Strategist Jeffrey Buchbinder. “S&P 500 companies have a shot at returning to pre-pandemic levels of corporate profits in 2021, which we didn’t think was possible just a couple of months ago,” he adds, noting that it’s still very unclear how much earnings power corporations will have post-pandemic.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives reiterated in a Friday morning note to clients that the Biden presidency and “very likely” Republican Senate is a “goldilocks scenario” for tech stocks heading into 2021, adding that the ongoing U.S.-China “Cold Tech War” would likely take a softer tone under Biden. “This would be a major bullish sign for the likes of Apple, Cisco and [others that] are caught in the crossfire on this ongoing U.S.-China battle with 5G front and center,” he added, referencing bans on Chinese firms like Huawei from 5G networks in other countries. Lame-duck President Donald Trump on Thursday banned people in the U.S. from investing in Chinese firms it deems to support China’s military—Huawei included.
Historically, Friday the 13ths in November are worse for stocks than in any other month, notes Ryan Detrick, the chief market strategist for LPL Financial. “But don’t forget, the last time we had a Friday the 13th was in March and the S&P 500 gained 9.3%, for the best gain ever on this frightful day in history,” he adds.
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