Stocks end mixed as S&P has best post-election week since 1932

The unemployment rate fell to 6.9%

Stocks finished the session mixed on Friday as investors honed in on an election outcome and an improving economy.

While the S&P 500 was little changed it pulled off the best post-election week since 1932, as tracked by the Dow Jones Market Data Group, rising 7.23%, which is the second-best on record.

Consumer staples and tech bucked the downtrend for the day.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 4065.73 +87.00 +2.19%
VDC VANGUARD WORLD FDS CONSUMER STAPLES ETF 188.27 +0.40 +0.21%
XLK TECHNOLOGY SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 133.62 +1.54 +1.17%

The Nasdaq Composite posted a fractional gain, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.24%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 32700.17 +579.89 +1.81%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11772.06996 +337.33 +2.95%

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said employers added 638,000 jobs in October, ahead of expectations for 570,000.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.9% from 7.9%, with more people who lost jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic returning to work.

JOB GROWTH JUMPS AS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DIPS

The average hourly workweek rose to 34.8 hours, up 0.1, while hourly earnings rose 0.1%, compared to expectations of 0.2%. The labor force participation rate rose to 61.7%, compared to expectations of 61.5% and up from a previous reading of 61.4%.

Revisions to August and September show 15,000 more jobs were created than previously reported.

ELECTION RESULTS TIGHTEN

As for the election, the odds of a contested result are increasing, with the Trump campaign filing a number of legal actions in hotly fought battlegrounds even as it lags behind Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who has captured 264 Electoral College votes so far, according to Fox News. President Trump has garnered 214 votes.

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Up for grabs are the states of Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina, with those results still too close to call.

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EARNINGS ROLL ON

Earnings from some of the world's largest companies will also be in the spotlight. CVS reported solid results and named Aetna executive Karen Lynch as its new CEO.

The company also hopes to "play a significant role in all COVID-19 vaccinations," according to the morning earnings call.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 97.15 +0.70 +0.73%

Other companies that reported on Friday include ViacomCBS, DISH Network and Mylan.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
VIAC n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
DISH DISH NETWORK CORP. 21.96 +1.25 +6.04%
MYL n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

TECH CONTINUES TO SHINE

Shares of T-Mobile and Square saw outsized gains after the telecom giant and financial technology company both reported better-than-expected results Thursday.

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T-Mobile shares jumped on Friday, while Square, which said revenues came in 50% higher than expectations, gained.

Also in the spotlight are Uber, Peloton and Electronic Arts, all of which reported late Thursday evening.

COMMODITIES CORNER

West Texas Intermediate crude oil dipped over 4% to $37.41 a barrel, while gold continued its march upward, closing at  $1,950.30 an ounce, the best dollar and percentage gain since April.

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