This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

World Weighs on Stocks After Jobs Data Surge

January's jobs data gave the stock market a jolt higher early Friday. But the advance proved short-lived, as has every rally of late. Traders reassessed the economic data while a raised terror threat indicator by the government and ongoing geopolitical concerns further weighed on sentiment.

As of 2:05 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.9% to 7855.25, after having traded as high as 8001.08. The S&P 500 was lower by 1% to 829.84 vs. its earlier best of 845.73, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.2% to 1285.50, after having traded as high as 1314.50.

Drugmakers such as Merck (MRK - Get Report) and Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) were among drags on major averages; the Amex Pharmaceutical Index was lately down 1.7%.

However, Scios (SCIO) was lately up 19.6% after The Wall Street Journal reported Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) is in talks to buy the biotech firm. JNJ was down 1.3% but the Amex Biotech Index was up 0.9%.

The Labor Department reported nonfarm payrolls rose by 143,000 in January vs. the consensus estimate of 69,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5.7% from 6.0% in December vs. expectations for a repeat last month. The overall workweek was up 0.1 hours to 34.2 hours, and average hourly earnings were unchanged.

While the headline numbers were positive and initially deemed bullish, there were some wrinkles. First, December's job loss was revised downward to 156,000 from 101,000 previously. Also, the bulk of the January job gains were in retail, where payrolls rose by 101,000, the largest gain since January 1995.

The retail sector's gain "reflects a weak holiday season which implied below-normal hiring late last year, which became a seasonally-adjusted decline, and below-average layoffs in January, which became seasonally-adjusted gains," commented Peter Kretzmer, senior economist at Banc of America Securities.

"The employment report for January showed some positive signs for labor markets and the economy, but the headline changes likely overstate the degree of underlying improvement in the month, and we do not see the report as a clear turning point in the recovery," he said.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
SCIO $0.99 0.00%
JNJ $100.21 0.00%
MRK $58.96 0.00%
PFE $36.06 0.00%
AAPL $121.30 0.00%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,689.86 -56.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,103.84 -4.79 -0.23%
NASDAQ 5,128.2810 -0.5040 -0.01%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs