stocks

Stock Market Today: Markets End Raucous Week on a Restrained Note

An encouraging October jobs report and a clearer presidential picture didn't do much Friday for a market exhausted from running.

Friday not only provided more clarity on the U.S. presidential election, but also good news on America's employment situation.

Neither development was met with another round of buying by investors, but one can forgive the bulls for being exhausted after a brisk week of gains. (The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, slipped 0.2% to 28,323, but finished the week up 6.8%.)

The Labor Department reported that the U.S. added a stronger-than-expected 638,000 jobs in October, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6.9%.

"The economy continues to display very impressive resilience across multiple sectors and facets, such as housing, auto sales, retail sales broadly, manufacturing, and increasingly services," says Rick Rieder, BlackRock's chief investment officer of Global Fixed Income and head of the BlackRock Global Allocation Investment Team. "Government employment provided more than a quarter-of-a-million jobs drag, while private sector employment gained an impressive 900,000 jobs." 

And while presidential election results are still pending from six states, the numbers increasingly point to a Biden victory, fueling more rip-roaring gains in many "Biden stocks." That includes marijuana stocks such as Canopy Growth (CGC, +10.9%) and Tilray (TLRY, +23.2%), which continued their recent ascents Friday.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 slipped by just one point to 3,509.
  • The Nasdaq Composite eked out a four-point gain to 11,895.
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 dropped 0.8% to 1,646.

One Source of Uncertainty Is Fading, But More Remain

Regardless of who ultimately is elected, the economy is hardly out of the woods.

Earlier this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell signaled a sudden willingness to make progress on COVID-related stimulus, which might be needed even more as winter approaches and the pandemic's "second wave" sweeps across much of the country.

Yes, there's plenty of hope that at least one vaccine will be approved in the next few months, which could very well light a spark under these 11 stocks that desperately need some form of normalcy to return. But the vaccine race's timeline is uncertain – both for approval and for rollout to Americans across the country.

For the time being, that means continued opportunity for so-called coronavirus stocks whose businesses benefited from the first wave this spring. Yes, some COVID plays have seemingly maxed out their opportunity. But a number look positioned to take advantage of similar consumer and business behavior this winter, as well as longer-term trends that COVID-19 helped accelerate.

Read on as we take a look at a dozen of the best coronavirus stocks to buy.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
What Is the Social Security COLA?
retirement

What Is the Social Security COLA?

For the average recipient, the 2021 monthly increase doesn't even cover a fill-up at the gas station — but it beats nothing.
July 14, 2021
11 Best Healthcare Stocks for the Rest of 2021
healthcare stocks

11 Best Healthcare Stocks for the Rest of 2021

The 2020s could be the decade of healthcare stocks. Here are 10 companies and one ETF to watch not just for the remainder of this year, but well beyon…
July 13, 2021

Recommended

Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar
stocks

Kiplinger's Weekly Earnings Calendar

Check out our earnings calendar for the upcoming week, as well as our previews of the more noteworthy reports.
July 23, 2021
Stock Market Today (7/23/21): Dow Hits 35K as Rally Spurs Fresh Index Records
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (7/23/21): Dow Hits 35K as Rally Spurs Fresh Index Records

Twitter and Snap had strong showings in the earnings confessional.
July 23, 2021
Tesla's Q2 Earnings: 4 Things to Watch
stocks

Tesla's Q2 Earnings: 4 Things to Watch

Our preview of the upcoming week's earnings reports includes Tesla (TSLA), Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB).
July 23, 2021
America's Worst CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios
stocks

America's Worst CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios

These 10 S&P 500 firms boast sky-high CEO-to-worker pay ratios that see their executives making thousands of times more than their median employee.
July 23, 2021