U.S. stocks traded higher toward the end of trading, with the Nasdaq Composite gaining over 200 points on Friday.
The Dow traded up 0.61% to 33,245.17 while the NASDAQ rose 2.14% to 11,084.83. The S&P 500 also rose, gaining, 1.24% to 3,947.25.
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Leading and Lagging Sectors
- Communication services shares rose by 3.3% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included So-Young International Inc. SY, up 15%, and uCloudlink Group Inc. UCL, up 13%.
- In trading on Friday, health care shares fell by 0.2%.
Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL became the latest tech giant to announce layoffs.
On Friday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to the company's staff informing them that Alphabet will begin laying off 12,000 employees immediately.
Equities Trading UP
- Ally Financial Inc. ALLY shares shot up 18% to $30.94 after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 EPS and sales results.
- Shares of Wayfair Inc. W got a boost, shooting 20% to $46.84 after the company announced a 10% workforce reduction, including 18% of corporate employees.
- Astronics Corporation ATRO shares were also up, gaining 39% to $14.36 after the company announced unaudited preliminary Q4 sales are expected to be in the range of $155 million to $160 million, exceeding the company's earlier guidance of $140 million to $150 million.
Equities Trading DOWN
- FARO Technologies, Inc. FARO shares tumbled 23% to $27.32 after the company announced pricing of a $60 million convertible senior notes offering.
- Shares of Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. WINT were down 26% to $0.16. Windtree Therapeutics announced plans to raise $1.0 million from the exercise of previously issued warrants.
- Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. RYAM was down, falling 13% to $5.87. Rayonier Advanced Materials said its wholly owned subsidiary, Rayonier A.M. Products Inc, decided not to pursue at this time its private offering of $325 million of senior secured notes.
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In commodity news, oil traded up 1.2% to $81.31 while gold traded up 0.3% at $1,929.10.
Silver traded up 0.6% to $24.01 on Friday while copper rose 0.6% to $4.2565.
European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 rose 0.37%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index rose 1.42%. The German DAX surged 0.76% French CAC 40 gained 0.63% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index gained 0.7%.
The annual producer inflation in Germany eased to 21.6% in December from 28.2% in the previous month. Retail sales in the UK dropped 1% month-over-month in December versus a revised 0.5% decline in November, while GfK Consumer Confidence indicator in the country declined to -45 in January from -42 a month ago.
Asia Pacific Markets
Asian markets closed higher on Friday, with the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rising 1.82%, and China’s Shanghai Composite Index rising 0.76%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.56%.
The annual inflation rate in Japan increased to 4.0% during December, recording the highest level since January 1991. The annual inflation rate in Hong Kong accelerated to 2% in December from 1.8% in the prior two consecutive months, while business confidence indicator in the country rose to 6 during the first quarter from 4 in the earlier period. The People's Bank of China kept its key lending rates unchanged at its recent fixing.
- US existing home sales dropped 1.5% to an annual rate of 4.02 million in December, versus market expectations of 3.96 million.
- The total number of active U.S. oil rigs fell by 10 to 613 this week, Baker Hughes Inc reported.
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The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 103,808,540 cases with around 1,128,330 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,681,880 cases and 530,720 deaths, while France reported over 39,472,270 COVID-19 cases with 163,700 deaths. In total, there were at least 672,676,630 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,740,380 deaths.
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