Wall Street's main indexes were set for a record open on Friday, as data showing strong jobs growth in October, coupled with positive earnings and Pfizer's COVID-19 pill update, boosted sentiment about economic growth.
The Labor Department's report showed U.S. employment increased more than expected last month as COVID-19 infections over the summer subsided, offering more evidence that economic activity was regaining momentum early in the fourth quarter.
Pfizer Inc jumped 10.8% in premarket trading after the drugmaker's experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut by 89% the chances of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease.
Shares of Merck slipped 9.0%.
Travel stocks rose following the news, with American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines , cruise operators Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise rising between 5.6% and 5.9%.
'Really the End of the Pandemic'
"We couldn't get more positive news. The market was up a lot prior to this with the Pfizer news, but now this does feel like it's really the end of the pandemic," said Thomas Hayes, managing member, Great Hill Capital LLC, New York.
"It's a quick efficacious solution ... if you get diagnosed, you just take the pill and you're back in action so the market loves it, the travel and leisure sector loves it and we love it."
Among earnings moves, Expedia jumped 14.6% after the online travel agency posted upbeat third-quarter revenue on a rebound in travel demand.
Pinterest Inc climbed 2% after the image-sharing company expects fourth-quarter revenue growth in the high-teens percentage range as retail ad spending boomed before the holiday season.
A stellar third-quarter reporting season, coupled with cheery outlook on earnings growth as well as a central bank in no rush to hike interest rates, has boosted investor appetite for equities, helping them look past worries about inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record high closes for the sixth session in a row on Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday on the social policy and climate-change bill and a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
At 8:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 140 points, or 0.39%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 20.5 points, or 0.44%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 48.5 points, or 0.3%.
Economy-sensitive stocks including oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp, industrials Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc and big banks moved sharply higher.
Peloton Interactive Inc sank 33.5% after it slashed its full-year sales outlook by up to $1 billion.
© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.