US Stocks Hit Record Highs 11/27 13:08

US Stocks Hit Record Highs             11/27 13:08

   The S&P 500 rose to a record high Friday as investors continue to look 
forward to the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and relief for the global 
economy.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- The S&P 500 rose to a record high Friday as investors 
continue to look forward to the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and relief 
for the global economy.

   The benchmark index rose 8 points, or 0.2%, led by gains in technology 
companies, and closed at an all-time high of 3,638.35. The Nasdaq also closed 
at a record helped by gains in Apple, Tesla, Zoom and other tech companies.

   Positive developments on the vaccine front have driven double-digit gains in 
the major indexes this month as investors look forward to progress in gaining 
control over the pandemic that plunged the global economy into its deepest 
slump since the 1930s. That optimism persisted this week even as one vaccine 
candidate suffered a setback and cases of coronavirus remain at elevated levels.

   Meanwhile, retailers were hoping that their slumping sales get a boost from 
shoppers on Black Friday but early indications are that store traffic was light.

   The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which earlier this week crossed 30,000 for 
the first time, rose 37 points, or 0.1%, to 29,910.37. The Nasdaq gained 111, 
or 0.9%, to 12,205.85.

   U.S. markets closed at 1 p.m. Eastern after being shut for the Thanksgiving 
holiday.

   Health care companies also posted solid gains. Moderna jumped 16.4% and 
Pfizer rose 1.9%. The two companies earlier this month released results showing 
their COVID-19 vaccine candidates were highly effective in tests. The shares 
got a boost Friday after a competing vaccine suffered a setback.

   The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca also this week released positive 
test results about their vaccine. But researchers have questioned how Oxford 
and AstraZeneca calculated the effectiveness of their vaccine. The AstraZeneca 
CEO said the company might conduct another trial. AstraZeneca shares were flat.

   Still, hopes for a vaccine have offset concerns about spiking coronavirus 
cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world. U.S. states and European 
governments are re-imposing controls on business and travel as infection rates 
surge.

   The disease has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide and there are 
61 million confirmed cases, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins 
University.

   The pandemic has brought significant changes to the traditional Black Friday 
shopping holiday. Many retailers are beefing up their safety protocols, moving 
their doorbuster deals online and curbside pickup options as a last grasp at 
sales before the year ends.

   Retailers need a boost from Black Friday and holiday shopping altogether to 
try and recoup sales lost to the pandemic. Early indications are that people 
are staying home and choosing to do any shopping online.

   Macy's shares fell 1.4% while shares of Walmart showed a slight decline. 
Shares of the online marketplace Etsy, meanwhile, rose 10.7%.

   Tech shares have led the market's climb back from its plunge in March as 
investors bet giants such as Apple and Microsoft will keep raking in the 
profits whether Americans are forced to stay home or the economy begins to 
return to something resembling normalcy. Apple rose 0.5%.

   Tesla rose 2.1% and Zoom Video Communications gained 6.3%. The two stocks 
have been market darlings so far this year with gains of 600% or more.

   European markets rose. Germany's DAX gained 0.4% and the CAC 40 in France 
rose 0.6%. Asia markets also rose Friday. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong 
gained 0.8%.

   The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 0.84% from 0.87% Wednesday.

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