Closing Update: Stocks Extend Rally, Close Higher for Week Despite Tepid Job Gains

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Wall Street put in another impressive performance Friday, extending Thursday's rally after investors dismissed January's disappointing payrolls data as adversely impacted by the weather. Instead, positive earnings, another dip in the jobless rate, and hiring in construction and manufacturing jobs fueled a triple-digit rally in the Dow Industrials, with consumer discretionary and healthcare stocks leading the pack.

The broader S&P 500 gained over 1% Friday and ends the week up 0.8% after three straight weekly losses. The Nasdaq Composite closes up 1.7% and up 0.5% for the week.

Investors poured back into stocks on this week's stability in emerging markets, rebound in Japanese stocks, and indications that the recent correction in U.S. equities is presenting very attractive buying opportunities in blue-chip and technology stocks. After bottoming out at 15,356 on Monday, the Dow Industrial climbed back over the 200-day moving average and has recovered more than 400 points.

The Labor Department reported that non-farm payrolls increased by 113,000 in January, missing street expectations of 180,000. In addition, December's dismal 74,000 gain was only revised upward by 1,000. Weak job growth was reported in retail and health sectors, but construction, manufacturing and hospitality and leisure all reported gains. In addition, economists were quick to discredit the below consensus gain due to the continuous snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast that has sidelined job seekers.

Here's where the markets stand at the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 165 (+1.1%)

S&P 500 was up 23 (+1.3%) at 1,797.02

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 68 (+1.7%) at 4,125.86

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 0.20%

Nikkei 225 was up 2.17%

Hang Seng Index was up 1.00%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.56%

UPSIDE MOVERS

ATHN Reported strong Q4 earnings, beating analyst estimates

SMT Reported Q3 earnings of $0.07, beating estimate for a loss of $0.01

ARIA Activist shareholder Sarissa Capital Managment trying to get 2 board seats

BEBE Reported a loss of $0.07 vs analyst estimates for a $0.14 per share loss

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

URRE Announced stock $10.3 million stock offering

FWM Q3 loss, sales miss and CEO retires

ACET Claims that financial media outlets misreported its sales compared to estimates.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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