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US Stocks Post Gains for Week as Friday Trading Leads to Advance

· 02/05/2021 11:22

04:22 PM EST, 02/05/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Stocks closed slightly higher Friday as major market indexes posted a round of gains for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3% to 31,148.24 while the S&P 500 rose 0.4% to 3,886.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6% to 13,856.30.

For the week, the Dow gained 3.9% while the S&P 500 added 4.7% and the Nasdaq rose 6%.

Investors mostly shrugged off the bad news in employment data released Friday morning. While nonfarm payrolls expanded in January by 49,000, just shy of the 50,000 consensus, the number of jobs lost in December was revised to show a bigger loss than previously reported, according to Econoday. In December, nonfarm payrolls fell by 227,000, more than the 140,000 originally.

"After the loss of 227,000 jobs in December, even a small gain is welcome and a step in the right direction," Desjardins said in a report Friday. "We expect the job market to continue improving in the next few months, but a genuine boom-including a substantial increase in participation-will only be possible once the vaccination campaign has fully taken effect."

Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard (ATVI) climbed 9.6% after the game maker posted a strong Q4 performance that led to a slew of price target upgrades. Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) rose 1.5% after the drugmaker sought approval from the US drug regulator for Emergency Use Authorization for its single-shot coronavirus vaccine candidate.

Meanwhile, Vor Biopharma (VOR) shares soared 108% in their trading debut. The company's IPO was priced at $18 per share.

Elsewhere, Lucira Health (LHDX) jumped 47% in its stock market premier. The company's shares were priced at $17 for gross proceeds of $153 million.