The New York Stock Exchange ended the week on a positive note on Friday, driven by better-than-expected figures on US employment in April and Amazon’s momentum. Wall Street’s flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, gained 0.75% to 26,543.33 points and the broad-based S & P 500 index gained 0.96% to 2,939.88 points. The Nasdaq index, with strong technology components, rose by 1.58% to close at 8,164.00 points, a record level.
Investors welcomed Friday the dynamic figures of the monthly labor market report in the United States: some 263,000 jobs were created in April in the country and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest since almost fifty years. At the same time, average hourly earnings increased slightly, but only 6 cents.
Amazon shares climbed 3.2% after news that Berkshire Hathaway has invested for the first time in the Amazon group, said Warren Buffett, and quoted by CNBC.
“Yes, I’m a fan and I was stupid not to buy it. But I want you to know it’s no personality changes taking place,” said the businessman.
The investment in Amazon strengthens the links between Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos, whose companies joined last year with JPMorgan Chase to create a joint venture, Haven, offering reduced health care costs to US employees. Berkshire Hathaway has a cash and investment level of nearly $104 billion. Buffett’s group therefore has a small fortune in the bank, while its last major acquisition was in January 2016.
Cognizant lost more than 11% as the IT services specialist has revised down its forecast of annual sales due to a decline in demand from banks and insurance. Wesbush has reduced its recommendation on the stock to “outperform” to “neutral”.
Weight Watchers skyrocketed 13% as a result of the increase in the annual profit forecast.