Jobs report pushes Dow above 14,000
The blue-chip index hits its highest level since October 2007. The S&P 500 also reaches a 5-year high. Employers add 157,000 jobs in January; November and December gains were better than thought. The unemployment rate ticks up to 7.9%.
Stocks took off on Friday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) closed above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007 as investors cheered a decent jobs report and improvements in U.S. manufacturing and consumer confidence.
The blue chips topped 14,000 shortly after 10 a.m. The index fell back below 14,000 several times during the day. But late buying pushed the Dow to close at 14,010, a 148-point gain. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) hit a five-year high of 1,513, up 15 points.
The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) had gained 37 points to 3,179, its highest level in 12 years.
The rally was the biggest for stocks since Jan. 2, when the Dow soared 308 points. The blue chips are about 150 points under their 2007 closing high of 14,165. The S&P 500 is 52 points below its 2007 closing high.
The market rally was set off by Friday's jobs report, which estimated that employers added 157,000 jobs in January, although the unemployment rate moved up slightly to 7.9% from 7.8% in December. Revisions showed that job gains in November and December were stronger than originally thought.
The market gains put the Dow up 6.9% for the year, with the S&P 500 up 6.1%. The Nasdaq is up 5.2%. The Dow finished January up 5.8%, its best January since 1994. The S&P 500's 5% gain was its best for a January since 1997.
Twenty-eight of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, led by Bank of America (BAC) and United Technologies (UTX). The laggards were Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and pharmaceutical giant Merck (MRK).
Google (GOOG) hit a new high of $776.73 before closing at $775.60, a new closing high. Other stocks hitting all-time highs included 3M (MMM), Procter & Gamble (PG), J.M. Smucker (SJM) and Tupperware (TUP).
Apple (AAPL) shares did not participate in the rally, falling $1.76 to $453.73.
Crude oil climbed on news of a bombing outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey, as well as an explosion at the headquarters of Pemex, the state-owned oil company, in Mexico City. Crude oil in New York settled up 28 cents to $97.85 a barrel. Brent crude, the North Sea benchmark, was up $1.08 to $116.63.
A solid market rally became a big rally after when the Institute for Supply Management said its January index of manufacturing rose to 53.1 from 50.7 in December. Analysts had expected a reading of 50.7.
And the University of Michigan's second reading of consumer sentiment showed a rebound to 73.8 from 71.3. Economists had expected the index to reach only 71.5.
Auto sales for January were strong. Chrysler reported a 16% gain. Ford Motor (F) sales were up 22%, and General Motors (GM) sales added 22%. Toyota (TM) said its January sales jumped 26%.
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Rule #1 - Don't fight the Fed.
Rule #2 - See Rule #1.
As a bear, there's still plenty of ways to make money without betting against Bernanke. The Euro has been on a steady march in the last several weeks and it continues to climb - there's still oodles of cash to be made there. There's also room for silver to make a sizable run up in a short period of time. Note how gold and silver are both up today, along with stocks. You can also make out pretty well playing the dividend game by buying between the announcement and the "date of record" and selling shortly after.
maybe its just me:
The unemployment rate ticks up to 7.9%.
it sounds like a KOOLADE rally to me....
I believe something is fishy with the numbers.....I wonder if can we trust the figures that are being feed to us anymore? I know that this is good for my investments at this point but I am concerned about what may be ahead.
Labor Participation rates
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9 66.0 65.8 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.1 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.5 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.1 64.1 64.1 64.0 64.0
2012 63.7 63.9 63.8 63.6 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.6
Doesn't look like a job recovery to me. Looks like people are losing benefits. Must be Bush's fault!!!
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[BRIEFING.COM] In case anyone needed a reminder how beholden the stock market has gotten to the Fed keeping rates at the zero bound, they were offered one today when the major indices pretty much turned on a dime following a report out of The Wall Street Journal's Fed watcher, Jon Hilsenrath, that suggested the Fed may very well keep the "considerable period" language in tomorrow's directive.
Following the Fed is an exasperating study of semantics, yet no one but the Fed is to ... More
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