NEW YORK CITY, RAW – Wall Street’s main indexes have scored record closing highs on Friday and booked solid gains for the week following a strong US jobs report and positive data for Pfizer’s experimental pill against COVID-19.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched record high closes for their seventh straight sessions, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed at a record. All three indexes posted weekly gains for their fifth consecutive weeks.

The Labor Department report showed US employment increased more than expected in October as the headwind from the surge in COVID-19 infections over the summer subsided.

A trial of Pfizer Inc’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 was stopped early after the drug was shown to cut by 89 per cent the chances of hospitalisation or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease. Pfizer shares jumped about 11 per cent.

The news kept the run going for equities after investors earlier in the week digested the Federal Reserve’s decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases put in place to support the economy.

“Momentum that we have seen this week has continued, and the jobs report and the Pfizer announcement certainly are providing positive datapoints for investors to put more money into the market right now,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 203.72 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 36,327.95, the S&P 500 gained 17.47 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 4,697.53 and the Nasdaq Composite added 31.28 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 15,971.59.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose two per cent, the Dow added 1.42 per cent, while the Nasdaq gained 3.05 per cent.

Travel stocks rose following Pfizer’s announcement, with the S&P 1500 airlines index climbing seven per cent, and cruise operators Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise rising between about eight to nine per cent.

“Still early to be definitive but this (pill) looks like a true game changer for many industries like leisure and transportation, you’re seeing it reflected in the prices,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Among S&P 500 sectors, energy and industrials led the way, rising 1.4 per cent and one per cent, respectively.

Healthcare was the only sector that ended negative, falling one per cent. The Pfizer news weighed on shares of competitors such as Merck, which fell nearly 10 per cent, and COVID-19 vaccine makers such as Moderna, which slumped 16.6 per cent.

Shares of so-called “stay-at-home” names fell, with Zoom Video Communications down 6.2 per cent and Netflix Inc off 3.4 per cent.

Better-than-expected third-quarter earnings have helped lift sentiment for equities. With about 440 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings are expected to have climbed 41.5 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Pinterest Inc shares climbed 5.9 per cent after the company’s strong fourth-quarter revenue forecast.

Peloton Interactive Inc shares slumped 35.3 per cent after the company slashed its full-year sales forecast by up to $US1 billion ($A1.4 billion).

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.16-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 83 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 303 new highs and 80 new lows.

About 11.5 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, compared with the 10.5 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.