Closing Update: Stocks Rally, But Some Lower for Week, Following Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report
Stocks withstood late profit-taking and then finished with a run back near their session highs after a big jump in November hiring carried the markets higher, snapping a five-day losing streak. All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 were higher, with broad-based strength across financial, consumer, healthcare and industrial stocks, and lifting the market gauge back over the 1,800 mark. A late surge also carried the Dow Industrials average back above 16,000. Both the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 end just lower for the week, snapping an eight-week winning streak.
The Labor Department ignited today's rally reporting U.S. employers added 203,000 new workers in November, well above market expectations for around 180,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate also fell to 7.0%.
While good news often has been met with selloffs in recent sessions, with traders believing stronger economic news will spur the Federal Reserve to cut back on its bond-buying stimulus efforts, Wall Street today simply accepted the better-than-expected jobs report as a positive sign. Also supporting the upbeat mood was the preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for December hitting a five-month high of 82.5, beating estimates looking for a 75.5 reading and topping November's final read of 75.1.
Commodities were mixed, with crude oil and copper rising with the positive jobs report while silver and gold decline on prospects the Federal Reserve will soon slow its bond-purchase stimulus efforts.
Crude oil settled 27 cents higher at $97.65 per barrel while January natural gas was down 2 cents at $4.11 per 1 million BTU. February gold was down $2.60 today to $1,229.10 per ounce while March silver slipped 3 cents to $19.53 per ounce. March copper rose 2 cents to $3.25 per pound.
Here's where the U.S. markets stood at end-of-day:
Dow Jones Industrial Average up 198.69 (+1.26%) to 16020.20
S&P 500 up 20.06 (+1.12%) to 1805.09
Nasdaq Composite Index up 29.36 (+0.73%) to 4062.52
Hang Seng Index up 0.13%
Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.44%
FTSE 100 Index up 0.83%
(+) EGY, Receives permission to move forward with its drilling program off the coast of Angola. As the operator in Block 5, EGY will have 40% operating working interest in the project.
(+) PSUN, Q3 revenue falls 4.1% year over year to $206.6 mln, beating consensus view by $1.44 mln. Net loss of $0.05 per share, ex items, matching estimates. Q4 sales forecast is in-line with estimates but EPS guidance trails Street by at least $0.01.
(+) BLDP, The maker of powertrain conversion kits and Belgium bus-maker Van Hool sign memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a call for proposals by the European Hydrogen Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking for zero-emission vehicles.
(-) ULTA, EPS of $0.72 per share, ex items, trails estimates by $0.02. Revenue rises 22.4% year over year to $618.8 mln but lags estimates by $3.58 mln. Issues downside Q4 guidance.
(-) SEAC, Earns $0.09 per share, trailing forecasts by $0.05. Revenue declines 3.8% year over year to $37.77 mln, missing Street view by $4.03 mln. Q4 EPS outlook lags estimates by at least $0.12 while revenue misses by at least $6.54 mln.
(-) BIG, Posts quarterly earnings and revenue trailing analyst forecasts, prompting at least research shop to reduce its price target for the discount retailer. Also announces plans to exit its money-losing Canadian operations.