The U.S. stock market grinded higher for most of Friday's
trading session, sending the major averages out in positive
territory. The stock market has jumped to begin 2013 as investors
have been purchasing risk assets in the wake of the deal to avert
the fiscal cliff.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed around 44 points to
close at 13,485.
The S&P 500 was up by around 7 points, or 0.49 percent, and
finished the session at 1,466.
The Nasdaq was the laggard on the day and only gained 0.04
percent to just below 3,102.
The December jobs numbers came in better than expected which
helped trigger risk appetite on Wall Street. The Nonfarm payrolls
number was 155,000 versus a consensus estimate of 150,000. The
November period was also revised up to 161,000 from 146,000.
Private payrolls also came in better than expected, notching a
gain of 168,000 versus consensus expectations of 165,000. The
November private payroll data was revised to 171,000 from
The unemployment rate did not show the drop that economists had
been expecting, coming in at 7.8 percent versus estimates of 7.7
Hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent, one basis point above
expectations. The average work week was 34.5 hours compared to 34.4
The November factory orders data was flat compared to economists
expectations of a rise of 0.5 percent. In the prior month period,
factory orders showed a gain of 0.8 percent.
The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index was strong in December, rising
to 56.1 from 54.7 in November. This compared to consensus estimates
which called for a dip to 53.5. A reading above 50 indicates
This market generally does not give this reading a lot of
attention because the services index is less cyclical than the
The U.S. dollar was largely unchanged versus a basket of foreign
currencies on Friday. The closely watched EUR/USD was slightly
lower on the day and was trading down 0.24 percent to $1.3185 at
The Australian dollar was particularly strong against the
greenback, rising more than 1 percent on the session while the U.S.
dollar was strong against the yen with the USD/JPY climbing more
than 0.60 percent.
The other currency pair that was active on Friday was the
USD/CAD which fell 0.67 percent to $0.9858.
U.S. crude oil was slightly higher on the session. NYMEX crude
futures, the U.S. benchmark, added roughly 0.14 percent to $93.05
while Brent crude contracts fell 0.71 percent to $111.34. Natural
gas contracts snapped a losing streak and gained around 2.60
percent to $3.28.
Both gold and silver were lower on the day. COMEX gold futures
notched losses of more than 1 percent to $1,657.50. Silver futures
shed around 1.60 percent and were last trading at $30.23.
Losses also hit the agricultural complex with most of the grains
falling more than 1 percent. Corn lost over 1.30 percent and wheat
was down 1.09 percent.
Long-term Treasuries rose on the day after falling in recent
sessions. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) added 0.40 percent to $118.41.
Yields on U.S. Treasuries were slightly lower with both 5-Year
and 10-Year Note yields falling one basis point to 0.82 percent and
0.91 percent, respectively. The yield on the 30-Year Bond fell
three basis points to 3.10 percent.
Shares of yoga-inspired retailer Lululemon (NASDAQ:
) lost a little better than 4 percent on the session in the wake of
an analyst downgrade.
Struggling grocery chain SuperValu (NYSE:
) jumped in mid-day trading after a report said that private-equity
firm Cerberus Capital Management was close to a deal to buy some
parts of the grocer and take a stake in others. The stock closed up
around 13.50 percent to $2.94.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:
) surged more than 10 percent on the session and closed at $11.15.
The move came after Longbow Research initiated the stock with a Buy
rating and $15.00 price target on Friday morning.
MBIA Inc. (NYSE:
) rallied sharply in afternoon trade and closed up almost 12
percent to $9.09 on very heavy volume.
Other movers included Finish Line (NASDAQ:
), which lost more than 8 percent after disappointing third-quarter
results and weak fourth-quarter guidance, and Barnes & Noble
) which fell more than 6 percent on weak holiday sales results.
Finish Line also cut its full-year guidance on Friday morning.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice.
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