Dow: 13,096 (+1.69%) S&P 500: 1,390 (+1.90%)
Reporting market news this week hasn’t been any fun. Dammit the majestic logo we chose is a bull, not a bear! But today’s market activity has been dubbed the “Immaculate Redemption” here in the office after relatively good news all-around wiped out those 4 days of painfully red markets as the Dow eked out a .2% gain for the week. Corporate earnings from household brand-name companies were positive, Facebook and LinkedIn made a social media stock comeback, and the headliner US government jobs report for July was swell. The Dow finished way up 217 points to save a positive market week.
US adds 163,000 jobs in July, highest number since March drives market optimism
Analogous to those 1980s bull-testosterone-infused Soviet Olympians, the US economy sprung to 250K new jobs per month to start 2012 and markets were jumping, but has since boasted pathetic 100K numbers the past 3 months. Like the London 2012 badminton circuit, it seems the labor market has tried to lose since April. Today the Labor Department announced 163K non-farm jobs were added in July for its highest monthly gain since March – this acceptable news beat economists’ lowly expectations, but a separate report stated that the unemployment actually ticked up from 8.2% to 8.3% due to a big increase in those “actively seeking work.” Combined with recently improving weekly jobless claims, investors are hoping the jobs market may be accelerating out of its 2nd quarter slowdown.
Corporate Blue Chips soar on strong earnings, social media stocks jump on LinkedIn’s back
The 2nd half of the 2nd quarter earnings is underway and the primary concern is over a slowing in profit growth. Poor consumer demand in the US and abysmal demand over in the austerity-land that is Europe are the primary culprits. Despite analysts’ worries, the two old school heavyweights today, Kraft (KFT) and Proctor & Gamble (PG) added over 3% each on better than expected earnings. Over at the cool kids table, upstart car-sharing firm Zipcar (ZIP) lost nearly 40% after cutting its revenue outlook for ’12, while LinkedIn (LNKD) rose 16% for raising its revenue forecasts. LinkedIn’s news was enough to lift much of the social-network tech sector, in particular Facebook (FB) – Zuckerberg’s baby’s been getting smacked around like a piñata all week after a few notable executives jumped ship, sending shares to their all-time low below $20, but managed to rise over 5% today to reach $21.09.
- Ah, the 1-year anniversary of the S&P credit downgrade of the United States (we won’t be celebrating)
- US government data on the trade deficit and budget numbers
- The 2nd quarter corporate earnings season’s last week of headline domination
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