Records on Wall St. despite job losses, politics

Wall Street finished out the first trading week of the new year by setting record closing highs, as investors hoped the first decline in hiring in eight months prompts another round of economic stimulus.

President-elect Biden fueled that sentiment Friday, saying he is working on introducing a multi-trillion-dollar package to get to Congress shortly after he takes office on January 20th.

Looking past the growing crisis at the White House as the current president faces the prospect of being impeached a second time, investors sent the Dow up 56-points. The S&P 500 gained 20 points. The Nasdaq jumped 134.

U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December in the biggest sign yet of an economic rebound that's losing momentum. Employment in the travel and leisure sector bore the brunt with the exodus of half-a-million jobs. The raging health crisis- forcing employers to cut back on their workforce. The national unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.

Needham portfolio manager Chris Retzler is hopeful that with a Democrat heading to the White House and the party controlling the House and the Senate - economic relief is coming.

"I think if we can push the extreme Left and extreme Right to the sides, I would hope that a lot of legislation can get done that would be really positive for the country, for Main Street, and to get the country healthy again after all that we've been through. So I'm actually quite bullish and I think that we're going to see some results this year."

Politics aside, Tesla continued its stock market romp. The electric car maker topped an $800 billion market cap for the first time. The stock has surged 23 percent in just these first five days of the new year.

Pfizer shares staged a modest rally after the drug company said its COVID-19 vaccine appears to protect against new variants discovered in Britain and South Africa.