By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The Dow rallied Friday, as stronger retail sales data suggesting the U.S. consumer, the backbone of the economy, remains in good shape helped ease investor worries about a slowdown in the recovery.
The rose 0.91%, or 259 points. The was up 0.60%, while the gained 0.40%.
The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales rose . That confounded economists’ forecast for a 0.5% rise. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – , topping expectations for a 0.2% increase.
Some economists, however, warned the data could represent the “last hurrah” for the consumer heading toward the end of the year as income will likely decline amid a lack of stimulus.
“September strength may have been the last hurrah for the consumer this year. With the back to school/work spending likely behind us, and disposable income set to contract sharply in Q3/Q4 without fresh fiscal stimulus, we’ll be lucky if consumption is flat in Q4,” Jefferies (NYSE:) said in a note.
Despite little progress on stimulus talks, many believe that it is a matter of when rather than if further federal aid is coming, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting earlier this week that a fiscal package will be rolled out before January.
Utilities, industrials, and health care led the broader market higher, with the latter getting a boost from a rise in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:) and Pfizer .
Pfizer (NYSE:) said it would apply for emergency U.S. approval of its Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech in the third week of November. Pfizer was up more than 3%, while Biontech Se (NASDAQ:) added nearly 4%.
The news helped restore some optimism over a Covid-19 vaccine after both Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) announced setbacks earlier this week.
Tech, however, lagged the broader move higher even as the Fab 5 stocks traded mostly higher.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:) traded higher, while Apple (NASDAQ:) fell 0.3%.
On the earnings front, investors digested mixed corporate reports.
Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:) reported better-than-expected quarterly results on the top and bottom lines, sending its shares up 2%.
Schlumberger NV (NYSE:) fell more than 7% after reported mixed results after its quarterly earnings beat, but revenue fell short of estimates, pressured by coronavirus-led disruptions in its drilling business.
In other news, Boeing (NYSE:) climbed 3% after Europe’s aviation regulator said the company’s maligned 737 Max jet was airworthy again.
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