Stocks Trade Mixed On Weak Jobs Report
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks slipped Thursday after the government reported an increase in the number of applications for unemployment benefits last week.
The Labor Department said 409,000 people applied for unemployment benefits. That's up from 388,000 the previous week, when applications fell to their lowest level in more than two years. The number of applications suggests that companies are adding jobs but at a sluggish pace.
The report came a day after ADP, a payroll processor, estimated that private companies added 297,000 jobs last month, far more than the 100,000 economists expected. That report pushed stock prices higher and Treasury prices lower as investors became more optimistic about the job market.In a week with several reports on employment, the most important one will arrive on Friday when the Labor Department releases its monthly survey of all U.S. payrolls and the unemployment rate. Economists expect the rate will fall to 9.7 percent from 9.8 percent. Retailers reported sales figures for December, and many were weaker than analysts had expected. Target Corp. fell 6 percent to $55.31 and Gap Inc. fell 7 percent to $20.59. Macy's Inc. fell 3 percent to $24.33. A blizzard in the Northeast hurt sales after Christmas. Retail sales were strong in November since many customers shopped earlier in the holiday season this year. Analysts still expect overall retail spending in November and December to increase by the largest amount since 2006. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31 points, or 0.3 percent, to 11,692 in midday trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3, or 0.3 percent, to 1,273. The Nasdaq composite index rose 3, or 0.1 percent, to 2,706. Bond prices rose, sending their yields slightly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.43 percent from 3.46 percent late Wednesday. The yield is used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including mortgages.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV