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Stock market live Friday: Rally takes a breather, best week since April, VIX drops below 25

The strong post-election rally paused on Friday, with the Dow at one point trading more than 60 points lower. Tech stocks, which led the market higher over the past session, came under some pressure on the final trading day of the week. Still, the major averages remained on pace for their best week since April.

Friday's market moves by the numbers

  • S&P 500 closed down 0.03% for its first negative day in five.
  • This week, the S&P 500 closed up 7.32%, for its first positive week in three and its best week since April 9.
  • This year, the S&P 500 is up 8.63%.
  • Dow closed down 0.24% for its first negative day in five.
  • This week, the Dow closed up 6.87%, for its best week since April 9.
  • This year, the Dow is down 0.75%.
  • Nasdaq Composite rose 0.04%.
  • This week, the Nasdaq Composite rose 9%
  • This year, the Nasdaq Composite is up 32.6%.
  • Six out of 11 sectors were negative Friday led by Energy down 2.14%.

—Gina Francolla

Major averages post their best week since April

The major averages ended the day flat after swinging between losses and gains during Friday's volatile session. The Dow dipped about 67 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both finished little changed. Thanks to the strong gains earlier in the week, the benchmarks posted their best weekly performance since April. The Dow gained 6.9% this week, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq jumped 7.3% and 9.1%, respectively.

Yun Li

VIX drops in final minutes of trading session

The Cboe Volatility Index, also known as the VIX or Wall Street's "fear gauge," declined 2.99 points on Friday to trade around 24.62. The VIX steadily moved lower throughout the session, with the pace accelerating with just a few minutes left in the trading session. The VIX tracks the 30-day implied volatility of the S&P 500 futures via options prices.

— Pippa Stevens

Stocks fall to end big week of gains

The major averages were slightly lower on Friday as a massive rally that took place following the election took a breather. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 91 points lower, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% along with the Nasdaq Composite. Despite those small losses, the Dow was on pace for its biggest weekly gain since June. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were headed for their best one-week performance since April.

Fred Imbert

Oil drops as surge in Covid-19 cases fuels demand uncertainty

Oil prices declined on Friday as a jump in Covid-19 cases fueled demand concerns. West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, settled $1.65, or 4.3%, lower at $37.14 per barrel.

"Covid-19 has returned with a vengeance and several countries are reporting infection counts higher than they ever had. Lockdowns will now slash oil demand in Europe and send it down by as much as 1 million bpd in November, and that will hurt prices," said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy.

— Pippa Stevens

JPMorgan’s Kolanovic says stocks have ‘best of both worlds’ post-election

JPMorgan's top-rated equity strategist Marko Kolanovic is calling for a sustainable rally, saying the election outcomes are shaping up to be "the best of both worlds for stocks."

Kolanovic, the bank's head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy, said a possible Joe Biden presidency with a split Congress could result in a market-friendly environment with lower taxes, status-quo regulations and a better U.S.-China trade relationship. He called this outcome "one of the most favorable scenarios for the market."

Read more about his call here.

Yun Li

Pot stocks surge

Marijuana stocks continued their dramatic post-election rally on Friday. Aurora Cannabis jumped more than 60%, while Tilray and Canopy Growth also saw dramatic gains. Several states voted to approve the legalization of at least some form of marijuana use on Tuesday.

— Jesse Pound

Business travel may never fully return, says Morgan Stanley

Business travel may never return to its pre-pandemic levels, hurting hotels over the long term, Morgan Stanley said Friday in a note to clients.

CNBC PRO subscribers can read more about the firm's analysis here.

— Pippa Stevens

Markets at midday: Stocks are little changed after big rally

The major averages were little changed following a sharp rally earlier in the week as traders looked for clarity on the U.S. election results. The Dow traded just 39 points lower, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 dipped less than 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was off by 0.2%.

Fred Imbert

Stocks on the move at noon

A number of stocks were on the move during midday trading on Friday after a host of companies reported quarterly results. Square and Roku both gained more than 10%, while Peloton said Covid-19 continues to act as a tailwind with consumers exercising at home. Meanwhile, Zillow Group posted its largest unadjusted profit in the company's history.

Check out more stocks on the move here. — Pippa Stevens

Smaller stimulus to lead to slowing growth, Goldman says

With the chances of Democrats taking control of the Senate appearing slim, Goldman Sachs lowered its base case for the next stimulus package to under $1 trillion and projected slowing growth in the months ahead. The investment firm now projects annualized GDP growth of 4.5% in the fourth quarter and 3.5% in the first quarter of 2021.

"We think the consumer recovery is likely to stagnate in coming months as an increased drag from reduced fiscal stimulus and rising virus spread weigh on activity," Goldman said in a note.

However, the investment firm said that the recovery could re-accelerate in the spring as the smaller stimulus takes effect and a potential vaccine begins to be distributed.

— Jesse Pound

Compass Point upgrades Wells Fargo to buy from neutral

Compass Point upgraded Wells Fargo to buy from neutral late Friday morning and said it expects the stock to outperform in the near future. "We are more constructive on shares of WFC over the next year," analyst David Rochester said. "Materially discounted valuation could offer greater downside support were market conditions to deteriorate," he said. Shares of the company are up over 3% this week.

- Michael Bloom

Jobs report shows continued rebound in dining hires

The Labor Department's latest update to the U.S. employment situation showed that a continued rebound in the leisure and hospitality sector helped October's headline payrolls number top expectations.

The government reported that the leisure and hospitality industry added 271,000 jobs last month and saw about 80% of that growth from restaurants and bars that rehired workers.

The professional and business services sector was a strong spot in October with a net addition of 208,000 jobs. The government said about half of that gain was thanks to the hiring of temporary help workers.

Some economists worried, however, that a record level of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. could eventually dampen the broader jobs market rebound and hit restaurants and travel-related business especially hard.

Thomas Franck

New stimulus deal from White House not expected, report says

The Washington Post reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, that a new stimulus deal is not expected to come from the White House. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to push through a "skinny" aid package, which has been dead on arrival with House Democrats, the report says.

Fred Imbert

Tech falters as rally takes a breather

After tech stocks outperformed the broader market during the recent rally, some of the sector's biggest names were under pressure on Friday. Shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Netflix all slipped more than 1% in early trading, and Google-parent Alphabet lost ground as well. The Nasdaq 100, which contains the largest non-financial stocks in the Nasdaq Composite, was down 0.7%.

— Jesse Pound

Leon Cooperman's top stock picks right now

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said Friday he thinks it will be a stock picker's market for the next few years as the overall benchmark remains stuck over the long term.

"There's value," the chairman and CEO of Omega Family Office said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. "You can find plenty of things to do."

Cooperman named several of his stock positions right now, including healthcare insurer Cigna, which beat on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results on Thursday. Cooperman said he likes that Cigna is trading at 11 times earnings.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about Cooperman's picks here.

— Maggie Fitzgerald

Here are Friday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Roku, Square, Zillow, Yelp & more

  • Benchmark raised its price target on Roku to $300 from $185.
  • RBC upgraded Yelp to outperform from sector perform.
  • Wells Fargo upgraded Advanced Micro Devices to overweight from equal weight.
  • UBS upgraded Mattel to buy from neutral.
  • RBC upgraded Zillow to outperform from sector perform.
  • Piper Sandler downgraded Electronic Artis to neutral from overweight.
  • Citi upgraded Square to buy from neutral.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

-Michael Bloom

Stocks open lower as vote count nears final stages

Stocks opened Friday's session lower as the U.S. presidential election vote count nears its final stages. The Dow shed 15 points for a loss of 0.05%. The S&P 500 slid 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.2%. The major averages are on track for their best week since April following a post-election rally on Wednesday and Thursday.

— Pippa Stevens

Biden takes the lead in Pennsylvania, NBC News says

Joe Biden has taken the lead in Pennsylvania, according to NBC News. President Donald Trump had led since election night. Biden leads in Pennsylvania by more than 5,500 votes with 95% of the expected vote counted. If Biden wins the state's 20 electoral votes, he will secure enough electoral votes to win the presidency. — Mike Calia

October jobs report comes in stronger-than-expected

The U.S. added 638,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday. This is ahead of the 530,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The unemployment rate fell to 6.9%.

The number compares to 661,000 jobs created in September, and an unemployment rate of 7.9%. — Pippa Stevens

Gold headed for best week in three months amid election uncertainty, bet on stimulus

Gold prices are headed for their best week in three months amid the ongoing presidential election. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,953.21 per ounce on Friday. The commodity jumped nearly 2.5% on Thursday, setting it up for a near 4% weekly gain, which would be gold's best since late July. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,954.20.

The precious metal also got a boost on bets for continued pandemic-led stimulus and accommodative monetary policy.

— Maggie Fitzgerald

Biden takes slight lead in Georgia as Wall Street awaits winner

Former Vice President Joe Biden edged into a lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia as Wall Street awaited a final result of the dramatic 2020 presidential race. Biden gained ground in a number of battleground states over the last 24 hours, including in Georgia and Pennsylvania as election workers counted mail-in votes.

Despite Biden's upward trend in Pennsylvania, Trump was still ahead by 18,229 votes as of 5:30 a.m. ET, with about 95% of total expected votes counted.

Trump, meanwhile, managed to reduce Biden's lead in Arizona Thursday evening. Biden holds a margin of 47,052 votes in Arizona, with 90% of total expected votes in and more votes to be counted in the state's populous Maricopa county. The state's next election results update will come at 11 a.m. ET.

Thomas Franck

S&P 500 on track for its best election week in decades

Wall Street is on track to post its best weekly performance during a presidential election in decades. Through Thursday's close, the S&P 500 has rallied for four days in a row with a 7.4% gain this week. The surge came as votes are still being counted in several battleground states, with Democrat Joe Biden projected to win 253 electoral votes, 17 short of the 270 to win, according to NBC News.

Yun Li, Nate Rattner

GOP Senate majority not a done deal

Investors are hoping for a split Congress, with Democrats leading the House and Republicans maintaining a Senate majority, but the latter is still up in the air. According to NBC News, Republicans have not yet won the necessary seats to control the Senate, with two potential run-off elections in Georgia.

If Democrats manage to regain control of the Senate, it could undo the market's post-election rally, said Alicia Levine, chief strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

"The market is now pricing in a Biden presidency with a Republican Senate, and the rotation that we saw was based on that," Levine said. "And if there's an increasing risk that that's not the case for the Senate, then this entire move could also be somewhat at risk as well."

Fred Imbert

Peloton drops on supply constraints

Shares of Peloton ticked about 4.5% lower as the stationary bike maker warned about supply constraints amid booming demand for its products. Peloton said it expects profits to be pressured as it quickly opens new manufacturing facilities and because of the extra shipping-related expenses it will incur during the busy holiday season.

Despite the supply constraints, Peloton beat on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly results. The workout company posted earnings of 20 cents per share on revenue of $758 million. Wall Street forecast earnings of 11 cents per share on revenue of $748 million, according to Refintiv.

The bike maker raised its revenue outlook for fiscal 2021 and now expects to report $3.9 billion or more in total revenue, up from a prior range of $3.5 billion to $3.65 billion. Analysts had been calling for $3.63 billion, according to a Refinitiv survey. Peloton also expects this holiday quarter to be its first billion-dollar quarter for sales.

— Maggie Fitzgerald

Jobs report expected to show that payroll growth slowed in October

Friday's nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show the slowest monthly job growth since the recovery began in May. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect an increase of 530,000 for October and the unemployment rate to fall two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.7%. If those projections are close to correct, that would still leave unfilled some 10 million positions lost in the early days of the pandemic and the jobless rate more than double where it was in February. — Jeff Cox

Roku jumps following earnings beat

Shares of Roku advanced more than 4% during premarket trading on Friday after the company beat top and bottom line estimates during the third quarter. The streaming device maker earned 9 cents per share during the period, significantly ahead of the 40 cent per share loss analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had been expecting. The company said active accounts jumped 43% year over year as consumers flocked to the platform amid the coronavirus pandemic.

— Pippa Stevens

Dow futures fall more than 100 points

Futures tied to major U.S. equity benchmarks dipped early Friday, pointing to the first negative session in five on Wall Street. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 150 points, indicating an opening loss of about 140 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 0.8% and 1.0%, respectively. The weakness in futures followed a four-day winning streak for the major averages. The S&P 500 and the Dow are up more than 7% so far this week, both on pace to post their best week since April. The Nasdaq Composite has gained nearly 9% this week as investors piled into major tech stocks with fading odds of a Democratic sweep, which could led to higher taxes and tighter regulations. Investors await a key jobs report before the open.

Yun Li