The S&P 500 scored another record high on Friday and booked a week of solid gains following a strong US jobs report and positive data for Pfizer's experimental pill against COVID-19.

The Labor Department report showed US employment increased more than expected in October as the headwind from the surge in COVID-19 infections over the summer subsided.

A trial of Pfizer Inc's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 was stopped early after the drug was shown to cut by 89% the chances of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease. Pfizer shares jumped.

The news kept the run going for equities after investors earlier in the week digested the Federal Reserve's decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases put in place to support the economy.

"Momentum that we have seen this week has continued, and the jobs report and the Pfizer announcement certainly are providing positive datapoints for investors to put more money into the market right now," said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

Big Tech, chipmakers power S&P 500, Nasdaq to record highs

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 16.34 points, or 0.35%, to end at 4,696.40 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 26.72 points, or 0.17%, to 15,967.02.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 197.25 points, or 0.55%, to 36,321.48.

Travel stocks rose following Pfizer's announcement, with the S&P 1500 airlines index climbing and cruise operators Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise rising.

"Still early to be definitive but this (pill) looks like a true game changer for many industries like leisure and transportation, you're seeing it reflected in the prices," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Among S&P 500 sectors, energy and industrials posted solid gains.

Healthcare lagged. The Pfizer news weighed on shares of competitors such as Merck and COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Moderna.

Shares of so-called "stay-at-home" names fell, including Zoom Video Communications and Netflix Inc.

Better-than-expected third-quarter earnings have helped lift sentiment for equities. With about 440 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have climbed 41.5% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES.


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