After Market: A Rising Employment Tide Lifts All Stocks


There’s a popular expression here on Wall Street when things are going well: A rising tide lifts all boats. And that was certainly the case Friday.

A bullish jobs report sent stocks sharply higher: The government said 203,000 jobs were created last month, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent. That’s the lowest it’s been in five years.

Stocks Continue Downward Slide
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rallied 198 points, snapping a five-session losing streak. The Standard Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) jumped 20 points, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC)
gained 29.

It was a broad-based rally with the number of gainers swamping the number of losers. But despite the big gains, the Dow and the SP both ended their streak of eight straight weekly gains.

Financial stocks, technology, consumer and industrials led Friday’s advance.

Intel (INTC) was a big winner, up 3 percent after Citigroup (C) raised its rating to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral.’ Its analyst says corporate demand for PCs is stabilizing. Other blue chip gainers: Procter Gamble (PG), Travelers (TRV), Boeing (BA) and United Technologies (UTX) were all up about 2 percent.

But Apple (AAPL) lost 1 percent after hitting a one-year high on Thursday.

Once again, a number of retailers found themselves in investors’ cross-hairs after issuing disappointing outlooks for the holiday shopping season.

  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) dropped 9.5 percent.
  • Ulta Salon (ULTA) tumbled 21 percent.
  • And the discount retailer Five Below (FIVE) ended the day — you guessed it — 5 percent below where it closed on Thursday.
  • Sears (SHLD) lost nearly 4 percent after saying it would spin off its Lands’ End division.

Meanwhile, J.C. Penney (JCP) dropped 8.5 percent on word of an SEC inquiry into its finances. And Barnes Noble (BKS) is under the SEC microscope, too. The agency is looking into the company’s earnings restatement from back in July, as well as allegations from a former employee about improper accounting practices. The bookseller’s stock fell 12 percent.

And InterOil (IOC) plunged 37 percent after agreeing to sell a majority stake in two gas fields, apparently for far less than investors had expected.

What to Watch Monday:

(There are no major business news events scheduled.)

Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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