This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
TheStreet Open House

Stocks End Higher as Investors Celebrate Job Growth

Stocks in this article: ^DJI^GSPC^IXIC


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The major U.S. stock finished their second best day of trading this year after investors celebrated an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate to its lowest level in almost three years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 156.8 points higher, or 1.2%, at 12,862. The S&P 500 advanced 19.4 points, or 1.5%, to 1,345. The Nasdaq gained 46 points, or 1.6%, to 2,906, pushing the week's gains to 3.2% -- the best weekly performance in two months.

Only three components of 30 on the Dow traded lower. Bank of America (BAC), Alcoa (AA)and Caterpillar (CAT)led the Dow higher. Merck (MRK), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Pfizer (PFE) were slipping 0.1% , 0.7% and 0.1%.

The Bureau of Labor statistics announced Friday morning that the U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs in January to push the unemployment rate down to 8.3%, the lowest level since February 2009. Economists had expected the addition of 150,000 new jobs last month, and for the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 8.5%.

The number of jobs added in December was also upwardly revised to 203,000 from 200,000, while November's figures were boosted to 157,000 from 100,000.

"Virtually every economist on the planet had expected a drop in the rate of job gains in January which makes today's upward surprise even more surprising," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. "Job growth at this pace and declines of this magnitude in the unemployment rate, if continued, would absolutely and unquestionably take a third round of quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve off the table."

"Everyone coming into 2012 said there would be continued volatility but so far that has not transpired," said Hank Smith, chief investment officer with wealth management firm Haverford. " Today's job's number was such a thoroughly good number that you couldn't complain about it... Europe's been in the news for 18 to 20 months. The shock value is lessening."

Stocks in Europe added to earlier gains, with Germany's DAX closing up 1.7% and London's FTSE up 1.8%. Greece and its European creditors are expected to wrap up talks about a fresh bailout plan in coming days which would involve private creditors taking more than a 70% loss on their holdings.

Japan's Nikkei Average settled down 0.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1%.

In corporate news, Micron (MU) shares were halted after the semiconductor company's CEO, Steve Appleton, died in in a small plane crash in Boise, Idaho. He was 51 years old.

Panasonic (PC) cautioned investors that it may be heading toward a record loss of 780 billion yen ($10.2 billion) on weak TV and mobile phone sales and restructuring costs related to the acquisition of Sanyo Electronics. Panasonic said it will see 514 billion yen in restricting costs, as well as a 250 billion yen writedown from the 2009 acquisition of Sanyo. The shares advanced 3.2% to $8.11.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,461.32 -153.49 -0.92%
S&P 500 1,927.11 -14.17 -0.73%
NASDAQ 4,382.8470 -36.6310 -0.83%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs