Stocks are mixed in mid-day trading after an equally mixed
opening following better-than-expected government employment
numbers although the unemployment rate remained the same. Still,
the data provided hope that the economy isn't heading for a
double-dip recession as many had feared.
The U.S. added 103,000 nonfarm jobs in September, the Labor
Department said Friday, beating Wall Street forecasts for less than
60,000. Private payrolls expanded by 137,000 jobs. Returning
Verizon Communications strikers added about 45,000 workers to
payrolls in September.
Revisions to the past two months added 99,000 workers to
payrolls, including turning August's zero reading into a 57,000 job
gain. The government sector continued to shed jobs in the month.
The unemployment rate held steady at 9.1% as expected. Average
hourly earnings increased 0.2% to $23.12 in September, reversing a
drop in August.
Overseas, the Bank of Japan's policy board kept its monetary
policy on hold Friday, saying economic recovery remains on track,
while maintaining its asset-buying and extending a special
post-earthquake lending program. In its statement, the board said
economic activity has "continued picking up," reiterating similar
language from its September report. It said production and exports
continue to increase, though the pace of recovery has moderated
from the sharp rebound that followed the slump in the wake of the
In company news:
) shares are down even after inking a multi-year licensing
agreement with AMC Networks that will make prior seasons of AMC's
critically-acclaimed original series, The Walking Dead, available
exclusively to Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada. Season 1 of
The Walking Dead will be available today.
) shares are down ahead of the unofficial kickoff to earnings
season when it reports its Q3 results on Tuesday. Analysts polled
by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report a profit of $0.22
per share on revenue of $6.24 billion.
) has maintained about 3% gains this morning after it said that it
was awarded a one-year contract for operations offshore in Ghana
with the newbuild ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig West Leo.
The potential contract revenue for the period is $204 million which
includes $18 million in mobilization revenue. Additionally, the rig
can earn a daily performance bonus of up to 10%.
Shares of Gannett (
) are down as the company said late Thursday that Craig Dubow,
chairman and CEO, resigned due to disability.
Shares of Smith & Wesson (
) are firm above 8% after the company said late yesterday that it
plans to divest its perimeter security business to focus on its
core firearm business. The company added that the environment for
the business, had deteriorated because of reduced government
Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS) are backing off pre-market gains
and are now off over 3% after a unit of bankrupt Lehman Brothers
Holdings sued one of its units, Bloomberg reported. The suit
concerned a failed $1.25 billion real estate deal. Rosslyn LB
Syndication Partner accused a Goldman unit of inappropriately
terminating the transaction, the report said.
Elsewhere in financial stocks, Cowen Group (COWN) is advancing
over 2.5% as it announced that its broker dealer platform, Cowen
& Co., has appointed Jeffrey Solomon as chief executive officer
effective immediately. Solomon, who previously served as chief
operating officer of COWN and head of investment banking at Cowen
& Co., will oversee all of Cowen & Co.'s businesses
including investment banking, capital markets, sales & trading
Commodities are higher. December gold contracts are up 0.12% to
$1,655 an ounce while November crude oil contacts are up 0.33% to
$82.84 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is up 0.09% to
$32.01 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 2.3%,
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is up 0.02% to
$160.53. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 1.62% to $55.43.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is up 0.03% to $31.21.
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