Stocks near records as COVID-19 restrictions drop across states

U.S. employers likely added 978,000 jobs in April, a Friday report may show

U.S. stocks ended the session mixed as investors focused on the reopening of the U.S. economy in more states and cities post-pandemic, while also putting new money to work as the month begins. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34548.53 +318.19 +0.93%
SP500 S&P 500 4201.62 +34.03 +0.82%
HD THE HOME DEPOT, INC. 337.98 +5.66 +1.70%
DOW DOW, INC. 69.04 +0.97 +1.43%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 238 points or 0.7%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3%. Cyclical names including Home Depot and chemical giant Dow rose. 

However, the Nasdaq Composite reversed course down 0.48% as Amazon and Tesla weighed and investors rotated out of tech. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13632.841845 +50.42 +0.37%
TSLA TESLA, INC. 663.54 -7.40 -1.10%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,306.37 +35.83 +1.10%

The partial gains are extending Friday's rally powered by robust corporate earnings. 

Eighty-six percent of S&P 500 companies have reported positive profit surprises for the quarter, as noted by FactSet's John Butter.  If this percentage holds it will mark the highest percentage of S&P 500 companies on record. 

In stock news, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is in focus on reports Greg Abel, who runs the conglomerate's energy arm, will succeed the 90-year-old Oracle of Omaha when he is no longer at the helm of the company. 


Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BRK.B BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, INC. 289.71 +6.95 +2.46%

In deal news, Verizon has confirmed it will sell its media assets including AOL and Yahoo to private equity firm Apollo for $5 billion. The new company will be called Yahoo and will continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %

In earnings, Estee Lauder shares tanked after the cosmetics giant after quarterly sales fell short of analyst expectations. Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer noted several markets are feeling the impact of COVID-19.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
EL ESTEE LAUDER 299.65 +5.29 +1.80%

Gun stocks saw a bounce after the FBI reported background checks jumped over 20% compared to April 2020. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
RGR STURM, RUGER & CO. 69.47 +2.25 +3.35%
SWBI SMITH & WESSON BRANDS 19.52 +0.03 +0.15%
VSTO VISTA OUTDOOR 34.49 -0.94 -2.65%

Looking ahead, investors are also preparing for another busy week of corporate earnings from the likes of Pfizer, General Motors and Uber.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 58.65 +1.03 +1.79%
PFE PFIZER INC. 39.19 -0.39 -0.99%

Plus, there several key reports on jobs coming, starting with Wednesday's ADP data, weekly jobless claims on Thursday, which have fallen to the lowest level since the pandemic, and Friday's monthly payroll report, which is expected to show U.S. employers added 978,000, a rise from the 916,000 added in March.  The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 5.8% from 6%, according to economist's estimates. 

In commodities, oil was marginally higher trading at $63.73 per barrel, while gold rose to $1,781 an ounce.