U.S. stocks traded higher midway through trading, with the Dow Jones gaining more than 550 points on Friday.
The Dow traded up 1.69% to 33,488.01 while the NASDAQ rose 1.52% to 10,461.92. The S&P 500 also rose, gaining, 1.67% to 3,871.65.
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Leading and Lagging Sectors
Materials shares gained by 3% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Century Aluminum Company CENX, up 9%, and Taseko Mines Limited TGB, up 10%.
In trading on Friday, health care shares rose by just 0.5%.
The US economy added 223,000 jobs in December, the least since December 2020, following a revised 256,000 increase in November, and above market estimates of 200,000.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in December. Average hourly earnings climbed 0.3% to $32.82 in December.
Equities Trading UP
- Aehr Test Systems AEHR shares shot up 44% to $24.80 after the company reported better-than-expected Q2 results and announced it received a follow-on production order from its second major silicon carbide semiconductor customer for an additional production FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in system configured with Aehr's fully integrated and automated WaferPak Aligner.
- Shares of CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. CTMX got a boost, shooting 36% to $2.4410. CytomX and Moderna reported a strategic research collaboration for mRNA-based conditionally activated therapeutics.
- Spruce Biosciences, Inc. SPRB shares were also up, gaining 94% to $2.42. Spruce Biosciences and Kaken Pharmaceutical reported an exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize Tildacerfont for CAH in Japan.
Equities Trading DOWN
- Fate Therapeutics, Inc. FATE shares tumbled 63% to $4.10 after the company decided to terminate the collaboration and option agreement with Janssen Biotech Inc, a Johnson & Johnson unit, on revised terms and conditions. The company is reducing its headcount to approximately 220 employees. It will discontinue some of its natural killer cell programs in acute myeloid leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, and solid tumors.
- Shares of Graphite Bio, Inc. GRPH were down 41% to $1.80 after the company reported it is voluntarily pausing the Phase 1/2 CEDAR study of nulabeglogene autogedtemcel (nula-cel) for sickle cell disease due to a serious adverse event in the first patient dosed with nula-cel.
- Atai Life Sciences N.V. ATAI was down, falling 38% to $1.63 after the company announced Perception Neuroscience's Phase 2a clinical trial did not meet its primary endpoint.
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In commodity news, oil traded up 1.3% to $74.65 while gold traded up 1.5% at $1,868.10.
Silver traded down 2.3% to $23.95 on Friday while copper rose 1.4% to $3.8750.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.07%, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.8% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 0.98%. The German DAX gained 1.05%, French CAC 40 climbed 1.27% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 1.29%.
Annual inflation rate in the Eurozone eased to 9.2% in December, the lowest in four months, while retail sales rose by 0.8% from a month ago in November.
The S&P Global/CIPS UK construction PMI fell to 48.8 in December from 50.4 in the prior month, while the Halifax house price index rose 2% year-over-year in December versus a 4.6% increase a month ago. Factory orders in Germany fell 5.3% month-over-month in November, while retail sales in the country rose 1.1% month-over-month in November.
Asia Pacific Markets
Asian markets closed mixed on Friday, with the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropping 0.29%, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index adding 0.08%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.59% during the session.
Foreign exchange reserves in Hong Kong rose to $424 billion in December, the highest since August. The au Jibun Bank Japan Services PMI rose to 51.1 in December compared to a final reading of 50.3 in November, while average cash earnings in the country rose by 0.5% year-over-year in November.
- The US economy added 223,000 jobs in December, the least since December 2020, following a revised 256,000 increase in November, and above market estimates of 200,000.
- The unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in December.
- Average hourly earnings climbed 0.3% to $32.82 in December.
- The ISM Services PMI declined to 49.6 in December, signalling the first contraction in the services activity since May 2020.
- US factory orders fell by 1.8% in November.
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The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 103,048,880 cases with around 1,120,800 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,680,600 cases and 530,700 deaths, while France reported over 39,381,820 COVID-19 cases with 162,640 deaths. In total, there were at least 667,484,690 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,707,270 deaths.
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