Investing.com – The Dow rallied Friday, as stronger retail sales data suggesting the U.S. consumer, the backbone of the economy, remains in good shape helped ease investor worries about a slowdown in the recovery.
The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales rose 01.5% last month. That confounded economists’ forecast for a 0.5% rise. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – rose 1.4%, topping expectations for a 0.2% increase.
Some economists, however, warned the data could represent the “last hurrah” for the consumer heading toward the end of the year as income will likely decline amid a lack of stimulus.
“September strength may have been the last hurrah for the consumer this year. With the back to school/work spending likely behind us, and disposable income set to contract sharply in Q3/Q4 without fresh fiscal stimulus, we’ll be lucky if consumption is flat in Q4,” Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said in a note.
Despite little progress on stimulus talks, many believe that it is a matter of when rather than if further federal aid is coming, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggesting earlier this week that a fiscal package will be rolled out before January.
Utilities, industrials, and health care led the broader market higher, with the latter getting a boost from a rise in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) and Pfizer .
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said it would apply for emergency U.S. approval of its Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech in the third week of November. Pfizer was up more than 3%, while Biontech Se (NASDAQ:BNTX) added nearly 4%.
The news helped restore some optimism over a Covid-19 vaccine after both Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) and Johnson &