It's all about the jobs today.
Appropriate for this wacky week, we get the month's most important economic indicator this morning with the release of the March jobs report.
We could drone on and on here about what the numbers will mean, and this whole Census thing and what it all means for the
, but why not just
click right here and read what
bond reporter Elizabeth Roy wrote about the number yesterday?
One thing's pretty sure, though. If the number comes in as expected, volume in the stock market will likely dry up ahead of earnings season, which launches with a bang next week.
The futures trading was uninspiring this morning ahead of the jobs number. In early action, the
June contract was up 2.5 to 1519, about 2 points above fair value. The
June contract was quoted down 8 to 4137.
Last Night's After-Hours Trading
Most people like their broker, especially on good days, when a nice tip or sage-like advice keeps shirts on backs and money in pockets. But for
, there's more than just plain "like" for a certain broker. Think passion. Think Joan of Arc.
was the face that launched a thousand bids after it upgraded QXL.com's two-year price target to, oh --
1000 per share
. No, there's no decimal mistake there. Cowen was bullish on the company, calling it a strong buy and helping push its ADRs up 29 39/64, or 132.3%, to 51 63/64. At one point in the day, the momentum in QXL.com, a British online auctioneer, swung up as high as 117 3/8.
Now, let's just take a took at this
1000 price target
, shall we? Okay, so technically that's only a 333-and-change price target because QXL.com's stock just underwent a 3-for-1 stock split this evening. (But 1000 had a nice ring during the day before the split took effect.)
And how exactly did Cowen come up with such a figure? By drawing a parallel between the valuation of American online auctioneer
and QXL.com. eBay is worth about $25 billion on paper and Cowen felt that QXL.com, as eBay's European counterpart, should be worth about the same figure. Therefore,
, new 1000 price target and a huge ramp up during the day.
Tonight, that momentum continued. On
, the company rose 6 1/64 to 58 on 57,000 shares, while it rose 6 11/16 to 58 3/4 on 137,000 shares on
Talk about a recovery! In one day (and night), QXL.com returned to a record level it hadn't seen in a month. On March 6, it closed north of 57 1/4 and over the next weeks, kept sliding lower and lower, trading at the worst levels of 2000, 42.4% lower than where it started the year. Cowen changed all that spurring heavy investor interest, not to mention those huge gains.
A record volume was set today, with 14.1 million shares changing hands in the company, topping 3.4 million, the previous record set on Oct. 7, the date of its IPO.
Another company that had a big day and a great evening was
Protein Design Labs
. When it was sunny, the company rallied 35 7/8, or 48.4%, to 110 providing leadership for the resurgent biotech sector. When it was dark, the company rose 7 3/16 to 117 on 11,000 shares on Island.
Even though the last two days have been great for the fashionable protein designer, which saw a 84.7% increase over that span, it was still well off its peak of 327 1/4, hit on March 7.
was a fairly big deal
last night. Today, the company fell 11 9/16, or 7%, to 154 after releasing earnings figures that well, didn't get investors all hot and bothered.
forgive or forget" isn't just a bad Robin Givens syndication vehicle, it's also a choice investors made this evening. Yahoo! was forgiven, gaining 1/2 to 154 1/2 on 66,000 shares on Instinet and 2 1/16 to 155 3/4 on 38,000 shares on Island.
There were few kiddies in the swimmin' hole this evening. Volume was fairly light and tomorrow night should be no different. Friday nights are usually thin.
Movement was mild, with many major names trading slightly higher than where they closed.
gained 11/16 on 117,000 shares on Instinet, while gaining 13/16 on 20,000 shares on Island.
traded at 82 15/16 on 65,000 shares on Instinet.
rose 3/8 on 77,000 shares on Instinet.
gained 9/16 on 114,000 shares on Instinet.
was a loser, dropping 3/8 to 138 3/4 on 35,000 shares on Instinet.
And for all you
Jim Cramer fans out there,
was last off 1 9/16 to 56 9/16 on 20,000 shares on Island after announcing that it would miss first-quarter estimates. Today, Tellabs fell 4.7%.
This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.