Jobs News Drives Markets to New All-Time Highs


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"Quite simply, today was all about jobs," summarized Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell, CMT. "From the time this data was released, the market took off and never looked back." Indeed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) spiked higher out of this gate and maintained a triple-digit gain for the majority of the session, ultimately closing shy of its new all-time peak (and the 15,000 level).

Continue reading for more on today's market, including :

  • Stocks make new records, unemployment dips, and Research In Motion ( BBRY ) has some good news.

The bulls held the reins into the weekend, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) up 142 points, or 1%, to 14,973.96. In intraday trading, the Dow crossed the 15,000 level for the first time on record, and tagged a new all-time high of 15,009.59. Of the Dow's 30 members, 25 were higher on the day, paced by Caterpillar (CAT) , which added 3.2%. Bringing up the rear were JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Pfizer (PFE), both down 1.1%. For the week, the Dow added 1.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) also overcame a millennium level, topping 1,600 on its way to a new all-time high of 1,618.46. At the close, the SPX was up 16.8 points, or 1.1%, at 1,614.42. Not to be outdone, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rallied to another 12-year high of 3,388.12 before closing up 38 points, or 1.1%, at 3,378.63. On a weekly basis, the SPX and COMP were up 2% and 3%, respectively.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) moved further into the red, dropping 0.7 point, or 5.5%, to end the day at 12.85, its first close below 13 since April 12. The VIX lost 5.4% on the week.



A Trader's Take :

"The April nonfarm payrolls number surpassed expectations, and there were also positive revisions to March and February," noted Bell. "The market surged to new highs, and the Dow crossed the round-number 15,000 mark for the first time ever. Although the index wasn't able to finish above this threshold, it was very encouraging to see almost all of the major sectors participate in today's rally."

3 Things to Know About Today's Market :

  • The monthly employment report was better than expected , as nonfarm payrolls increased 165,000 in April, while data for the previous two months was revised higher. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate edged to a four-year low of 7.5%. Economists were expecting a slower rise of 145,000 jobs, with unemployment remaining unchanged at 7.6%. (Reuters)
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing (or services) index dipped to 53.1, a 10-month low . Economists had expected a slighter pullback, to 54. (CNBC)
  • American International Group (AIG) noted that first-quarter profit dropped 31%, but per-share earnings of $1.34 still handily topped expectations . (The Wall Street Journal)

5 Stocks We Were Watching Today :

  1. Ahead of earnings later this month, Cisco Systems (CSCO) saw increased attention from call buyers.
  2. Call volume ramped up in Ford Motor Company (F), as bullish traders reacted to positive fundamentals.
  3. AT&T Inc. (T) option players targeted short-term losses in the shares.
  4. Research In Motion ( BBRY ) received some good news about its BlackBerry Q10 smartphone.
  5. Put buying was notable in Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (FCX) today, as bears predicted a sharp pullback in the next seven weeks.


For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.



Commodities :

Hopes for energy demand were on the rise again today, thanks to the better-than-expected report on U.S. jobs. June crude futures gained $1.62, or 1.7%, to settle at $95.61 per barrel, oil's highest close since April 2. For the week, black gold rose 2.8%.

Gold, on the other hand, edged lower as investors turned their attention toward stocks. June-dated gold dropped $3.40, or 0.2%, to $1,464.20 an ounce, finishing the week up 0.7%.


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

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any SIR publication is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Options
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