- US stocks closed higher on Friday buoyed by optimism over the pace of vaccinations.
- Risk appetite returned as a heightened pace of the vaccine rollout promised by President Joe Biden suggested the economy was headed for a reopening.
- Oil prices edged higher following news that it could take weeks to dislodged the container ship blocking the Suez Canal.
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The Dow Jones industrial average led US stock higher Friday as optimism around the economic recovery was boosted on the back of an accelerated pace of COVID-19 vaccinations. The Dow closed higher by over 450 points.
Thus far, 25.7%, or 85 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 14% or 46.3 million have received two doses. President Joe Biden pledged this week to double his administration’s original goal to 200 vaccine doses in by his 100th day in office.
Energy producers and health care companies outperformed their peers on the last trading day of the week. Bank shares also rose after the Federal Reserve Thursday afternoon announced that banks can raise dividends and resume share repurchases after June 30.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Friday:
Cathie Wood’s ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF recently bought 800,494 shares in Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp, a SPAC backed by tennis champion Serena Williams. Among the fund’s biggest holdings are Tesla, JD.com, Baidu, and Alphabet.
Financial technology firm SoFi announced that it will be allowing its users to directly invest into initial public offerings, an opportunity usually reserved for institutional investors. SoFi’s announcement comes a day after Robinhood said it is looking to allow its users to also buy directly into IPOs, including its own upcoming public debut.
But UBS Wealth Management said bitcoin’s “limited real-world use” and “extreme volatility” illustrate the cryptocurrency’s recent surge is still a speculative bubble. In a note on Friday, UBS said it remains “unconvinced” by bitcoin.
In the UK, cryptocurrency firms DMG Blockchain Solutions and Argo Blockchain are launching Terra Pool, the world’s first bitcoin mining pool powered by clean energy in an attempt to better manage the impact of bitcoin mining on the climate.
Oil prices edged higher, bouncing back from Thursday’s slide, on news that it could take weeks for experts to dislodge the massive 220,000-ton container ship blocking the Suez Canal for around four days now.
Gold slipped 0.13% to $1,732.43 per ounce.
Bitcoin edged higher by 3.57% to $53,653 staying above the $53,000-level most of Friday. Traders braced themselves ahead of the record $6 billion bitcoin options that expired today.