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Dow Jones Rallies As J&J Stock Gains, Senate OKs Biden’s Stimulus Bill

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 100 points as Johnson & Johnson rose on vaccine news and the Senate approved a relief package.

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The Nasdaq rose 0.7% and the S&P 500 gained 0.5% in the stock market today, as the Dow Jones industrials climbing 0.3%. Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 outperformed, up 1%. Volume was mixed, higher on the NYSE and lower on the Nasdaq, vs. the same time Thursday.

Early Friday, the Senate moved forward on a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in a 51-to-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote after an all-night debating session.

“Only 6,000 private sector jobs been created,” President Joe Biden said. “At that rate it’s going to take 10 years before we get to full unemployment. That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact.”

U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew 49,000 last month, just below Econoday’s forecast for 50,000. Private payrolls accounted for only 6,000 of those jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7% in December. However, December’s job losses were revised sharply lower to 227,000 from an early estimate for 140,000 job losses.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 31151.51 +95.65 +0.31
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 3891.59 +19.85 +0.51
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 13870.40 +92.66 +0.67
Russell 2000 (IWM) 220.57 +1.95 +0.89
IBD 50 (FFTY) 46.48 +0.55 +1.20
Last Update: 1:14 PM ET 2/5/2021

Tech stocks had boosted the Nasdaq to a 43.6% gain in 2020 for its fifth best year ever. The S&P 500 rose 16.3% and the Dow added 7.2% last year. Read The Big Picture for detailed daily market analysis.

Covid-19 Update

Meantime, Covid-19 cases continue to rise globally. Worldwide cumulative coronavirus cases have topped 105.5 million, with nearly 2.3 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic are now approaching 27.3 million, with a death toll over 467,000.

As the U.S. rushes to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) gapped up and rose 1.5%. Late Thursday, the health care giant asked the Food & Drug Administration to approve its single-shot vaccine candidate for emergency use. J&J said it can begin shipments immediately after authorization and plans to supply the U.S. with 100 million doses in the first half of 2021.

J&J’s vaccine proved 66% effective at blocking Covid-19 in a Phase 3 study, beating the FDA’s bar for at least 50% effectiveness.

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) say their vaccine is 95% effective. Moderna‘s (MRNA) is 94.1% effective. But J&J says its coronavirus vaccine is easier to manufacture and ship, and is stable for two years.

Also late Thursday, Maryland-based biotech Novavax (NVAX) began rolling submissions for its double-shot vaccine in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Canada. Novavax stock rallied more than 5% in above-average volume, on track for a new closing high.

Casinos, gaming software and consumer electronics retailers led the upside among IBD’s 197 industry groups. Airlines, automakers and solar stocks lagged.

Dow Winners And Losers

Dow Inc. (DOW), the biggest blue chip gainer, rose 2%, on track to extend its win streak to five. The stock has retaken its 50-day moving average after giving it up last week.

Other winners included Nike (NKE), Cisco (CSCO) and Travelers (TRV), up about 1.5% each. Nike is about 3% away from a 148.05 buy point of a six-week flat base, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.

UnitedHealth (UNH) and Apple (AAPL) gave up 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively, to lead the downside. UnitedHealth has been shaping a rather choppy flat base since November, but has been trading below its 10-week line for a second straight week.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) gapped up and soared nearly 11% to a new high in heavy trade. Late Thursday, the video game publisher reported Q4 results that beat views. It also guided higher for 2021 earnings and sales. Shares are sharply extended from a Dec. 16 breakout past an 87.83 buy point of a shallow base. Activision was showcased on Friday’s IBD Live show.

Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo

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