Bulls Ride Jobs Wave

The U.S. added 162,000 jobs in March, a number that has investors bullish heading into a new week.
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Updated from 7:19 a.m. EDT

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The

jobs data

released Friday appear to have lifted the spirits of investors banking on an economic recovery as our weekly sentiment survey is leaning predominantly bullish.

As of 9:15 a.m. when the poll closed, survey participants who were bullish tallied 845, or 60.4%, of the 1,400 votes cast in TheStreet.com's RealMoney Barometer Poll. Bears scored 385 votes, or 27.5% of the total votes, while survey-takers who were neutral racked up 170 votes, or 12.1%.

While it may have been below some estimates, the nonfarm payrolls data for March that showed that 162,000 jobs were created was the largest seasonally adjusted increase in nonfarm payrolls in three years. The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%.

Investors in Tokyo took kindly to the news as the Nikkei 225 stock average finished higher by 0.5% Monday. Markets in Hong Kong and China were closed, as were most European markets, including London.

Premarket futures suggest stocks on Wall Street will open higher Monday, after the majors indices tacked on gains last week. Monday is the first day Wall Street will get to trade on the jobs numbers, as the stock market was closed for Good Friday, the day the jobs data was released.

As the new trading week gets set to begin, Wall Street also was looking to another jobs --

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

Steve Jobs that is -- as the CEO of the technology company saw the release of his latest creation -- the iPad -- over the weekend. Apple said sales of the iPad were 300,000 on Saturday.

The week is light for earnings reports,

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

being once exception, but they'll kick into high gear next week when

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

gets things started on April 12, and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

,

JPMorgan

(JPM) - Get Report

and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

join in later in the week.

Commercial banks was the sector viewed by survey-takers as the most likely to rise this week, with precious metals seen as the sector most likely to decline.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

Here's a wrap-up of our other polls:

Last week, we asked readers of

TheStreet

who they think will be the biggest winner of Google's (GOOG) - Get Report clash with the Chinese governmentd

over censorship rules and its subsequent exit from China to Hong Kong -- Google,

Baidu

(BIDU) - Get Report

or the Chinese government?

A surprisingly strong majority, 63.4%, said that with its main domestic rival out of the way, Baidu would be the obvious winner.

A smaller, but still substantial number, 25.7%, said that Google's principled stand will pay off in the long run.

Meanwhile, 10.9% of respondents said that the Chinese government would emerge the biggest winner -- on the notion, as we phrased it in the survey, that Google would eventually cave to the Chinese government and, in doing so, would bolster the perception of China's power.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Google vs. China vs. Baidu poll

After having a roughly $35 billion U.S. Air Force aerial-refueling tanker contract reneged on by the government when its auditors decided to uphold U.S. rival

Boeing's

(BA) - Get Report

protest against the 2008 agreement, Airbus' European parent

EADS

looks to be gunning for the contract again -- only this time without partner

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Report

.

The latter had bowed out of the latest bidding race, citing an uneven playing field favoring Boeing.

As the industry anxiously awaited news confirming that EADS would indeed bid for the latest contract and that the Pentagon would indeed grant the company a 90-day extension to have more time to prepare for a bid -- while already having granted the company prime-contractor status --

we asked TheStreet users whether the odds are stacked against EADS

in winning the refueling plane contract.

The results were strong: Some 78.9% of respondents felt that Boeing has a clear advantage and will win the contract, while a mere 21.1% felt that EADS still has a legitimate and fair shot at winning the bid.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Boeing vs. EADS poll

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

should purchase Station Casinos assets, according to

TheStreet

readers.

In our weekly poll, 60.5% of voters said Boyd was the most logical choice to pick up any assets the now bankrupt Station Casinos sells off.

Last week, Station Casinos announced that it is looking to sell 14 of its casinos in bankruptcy court.

According to a

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing, Station plans for investment banks

Deutsche Bank

and

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

to take over four of its debt ridden casinos: Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, Palace Station, Boulder Station and Sunset Station. The debt on the four properties would be reduced from $2.48 billion to $1.6 billion.

Owners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta plan to retain a 46% stake in the four casinos. Under the proposal, the brothers will pay $85.6 million in cash for a 50% stake and then sell 4% of that stake to

Colony Capital

. Colony currently holds 75% of Station.

Station's remaining properties, which include Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Fiesta casinos and 50% stakes in Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino and Aliante Station, among others, would be sold.

>>Click here for full results and analysis of our Station Casinos poll

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Ty Wenger in New York.