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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wall St Bulls Charge At Opening Bell; Bears Take MC On Jobs And Payroll Day

Better-than-anticipated jobs data nourished commodities traders' appetite for risks
After a week of suspense, Wall Street finally got a look at how the jobs market fared during February and the bulls liked what they saw: the unemployment rate unexpectedly held steady at 9.7% and fewer jobs were cut than analysts had predicted. The markets received further signs the U.S. economy is healing when the Federal Reserve surprised economists by saying consumer credit rose in January for the first time in a year.

Wall St investors let out a collective sigh of relief today, as the government's highly anticipated employment figures proved less disheartening than expected. More specifically, nonfarm payrolls depleted by 36,000 in February, with the unemployment rate remaining stagnant at 9.7%, the Labor Department reported.

As such – and thanks to news that consumer borrowing unexpectedly increased in January for the first time in 11 months – stocks skyrocketed right out of the gate this morning, with the major market indexes extending their lead in the final hour of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 10,566.20) settled near its session highs, adding 122.1 points, or 1.2%, by the close. Only Microsoft and Verizon Communications bucked the trend, while Boeing , Alcoa , and American Express paced the 28 advancing blue chips. Thanks to today's triple-digit rally, the Dow toppled the 10,500 level for the first time since mid-January, extending its weekly gain to 2.3%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,138.70) also ended near its intraday peak, adding 15.7 points, or 1.4%. Finally, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,326.35) gained 34 points, or 1.5%, closing just a hair's breadth beneath its new 52-week high of 2,327.03. For the week, the SPX advanced 3.1%, while the COMP tacked on an impressive 3.9%.

Friday's strong rally pushed the blue chips up more than 240 points on the week and landed the S&P 500 in the green for the sixth-straight day. However, like most of the rallies this year, Friday's gains came without a significant up tick in volume, indicating a possible lack of conviction.
CAVEAT VENDITOR >>> Sellers Beware !

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