Bulls and bears are wrestling today with a surprisingly weak
December jobs report and its potential impact on Federal Reserve
monetary policy. At issue is the paltry 74,000 new workers
employers added to payrolls last month compared with a 0.3% drop in
the U.S. unemployment rate to a 62-month low.
Experts were nearly unanimous in their conclusions the December
data is an aberration - negatively influenced by inclement weather
and another big decline in the labor participation rate - but
uncertainty on how the jobs report will influence Fed policy-makers
has the stock market wandering with little conviction between
modest losses and slim gains.
Retail stocks are again on the defensive with weakness for
shares of store-owners like Sears (
) and PacSun (
) while the NYSE Composite index is holding onto a small gain
thanks to another strong day in the biotech sector.
Non-farm payrolls increased by an anemic 74,000 in December,
well below the consensus estimate expecting a 191,000 gain.
November hiring was revised upward by 38,000 additional workers
while the jobless rate fell to 6.7% - its lowest mark since October
Other data today included an as-expected 0.5% gain in November
European markets held onto its earlier gains thanks to much
better than expected production data from France and Spain along
with overall EU GDP.
Crude oil was up $0.80 to $92.47 per barrel. Natural gas was up
$0.04 to $4.02 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $14.50 an ounce,
while silver was up $0.41 to $20.09 an ounce. Copper was up $0.04
to $3.34 per pound.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 0.18% to
$33.14 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.15% to
$19.71. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold
Miners ETF was up 2.81% to 21.88 while SPDR Gold Shares were up
1.29% to $119.98. The iShares Silver Trust was up 2.65% to
Here's where the U.S. markets stand at mid-day:
NYSE Composite Index up 9.93 (+0.10%) to 10,335.67
Dow Jones Industrial Average down 36.60 (-0.22%) to
S&P 500 down 2.16 (-0.12%) to 1,835.97
Nasdaq Composite Index down 4.07 (-0.10%) to 4,152.13
Nikkei 225 Index up 0.20%
Hang Seng Index up 0.26%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.71%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.73%
CAC 40 up 0.60%
DAX up 0.55%
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index up 0.01%
NYSE Financial Sector Index down 0.22%
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index down 0.08%
(+) ICPT (+62.61%) Continues Thursday's rally triggered after
its obeticholic adic study for the treatment of nonalcoholic
steatohepatitis was stopped early after an interim analysis showed
it already met the primary endpoint.
(+) IMMU (+13.9%) Reported the first patient dosing in the
company's Phase III registration study of its pancreatic cancer
drug, yttrium-90 (90Y)-clivatuzumab tetraxetan.
(+) ANF (+9.8%) Boosts its guidance for full-year adjusted
earnings based on better-than-expected sales and cost cuts.
(-) CHTP (-26.4%) FDA briefing document on Northera cites "lack
of sufficient evidence of efficacy".
(-) PSUN (-15.7%) Expects its Q4 non-GAAP loss per diluted share
from continuing operations to be in the range of $0.21 - $0.18
versus estimates of a loss of $0.14 per share.
(-) BV (-13.8%) Federal judge in San Francisco ruled in favor of
the government in its anti-trust lawsuit challenging the company's
acquisition of rival PowerReviews.
(-) SHLD (-13.5%) Retailer said it expects a net loss between
$2.01-$2.98 per share, excluding special items. Full-year net loss
is projected at $7.64 to $8.61 per share.
Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.