The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 56 points of 0.1%, while the Nasdaq rose over 1%. The tech-heavy index was aided by Tesla, which maintained its gains and crossed the $800 billion market cap level for the first time.
Stocks eased up from record levels midday, before resuming a march higher after the Washington Post reported that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is opposed to additional stimulus payments, which could kill the prospects of further fiscal support for the ailing U.S. economy and ultimately $2,000 checks for Americans.
The country lost 140,000 jobs in December, compared to an expected gain of 71,000, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Still, the revisions to the previous two months and stronger-than-expected earnings softened the blow a bit. In the prior two months, the U.S. added an additional 135,000 jobs.
Average hourly earnings rose 5.1% year-over-year, compared to expectations for a rise of 4.5%. The unemployment rate came in at 6.7%, compared to expectations of 6.8%. Though elevated, that’s down from 14.7% when the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. into a lockdown and the highest print since record-keeping began in 1948.
The labor force participation rate matched estimates at 61.5%.
On Wednesday, ADP reported the U.S. lost 123,000 jobs in December, compared to a gain of 88,000.
The U.S. surpassed 21.5 million cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 4,000 Americans died of the virus on Thursday, a new record.
In stock news, though rumors of an Apple-branded car have existed for years, South Korean automaker Hyundai confirmed on Friday it was in early talks with the U.S. tech giant, lifting shares of Hyundai 25%.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussions but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided,” Hyundai said in a statement.
The company later issued a regulatory filing, noting it was “getting requests for cooperation on joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies.”
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that an Apple-branded car, which would compete with Tesla, GM and other electric vehicles, would not be ready until at least 2025.
In other asset classes, bitcoin traded above the $41,000 level, doubling in less than a month, pushing its market value above $1 trillion for the first time.
Oil closed at the $52 level rising 7.6% for the week and gold
Gold fell to $1,834.10 an ounce.