Updated from 6:46 a.m. ESTNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Maybe it didn't put in a performance worthy of winning an Oscar, but the jobs report Friday did go a long way to turning our sentiment poll decidedly bullish. Participants in TheStreet.com's RealMoney Barometer Poll who were bullish tallied 749 votes, or 58.8% of the 1,273 votes cast in the poll. Bearish votes tallied 360, or 28.3%, while poll-takers who were neutral came in with 164votes, equal to 12.9%. U.S. stock markets rose Friday after nonfarm payrolls fell by 36,000 during February and the nation's unemployment rate held steady at 9.7%. Analysts had believed that about 68,000 jobs would be lost from nonfarm payrolls in February, while the unemployment rate was expected to rise to 9.8%. > > View Poll Results The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.17% Friday, closing at 10,566.20. The S&P 500 gained 1.4% Friday and the Nasdaq rose 1.48%. The Dow gained 2.3% last week; Nasdaq added 3.9%. In the poll, commercial banks was widely viewed as the sector most likely to rise this week, while precious metals was seen as the sector most likely to post declines. The retail sector, which posted impressive sales last week and played a role in buoying market sentiment, gets further reads this week when retailers such as J. Crew ( JCG)and American Eagle ( AEO) post earnings reports. Meanwhile, the government's retail sales report is scheduled for Friday and is expected to come in flat largely because of the massive snowstorms that hit the Northeast during February. In corporate news, AIG ( AIG) and MetLife ( MET) wrapped up the $15.5 billion sale of AIG's second-biggest foreign life-insurance unit, American Life Insurance. The poll closed at 9:15 a.m. Monday. On Monday in Asia, stocks in Tokyo and Hong Kong posted gains of at least 2%, while European shares were lower.
Perhaps Tiger Woods could take a tip on damage control from Toyota ( TM) President Akio Toyoda -- at least on how not to make the world dislike you and what you stand for even more. Granted, their respective situations are not exactly analogous. Still, lessons can be gleaned from both televised speeches. While both clearly should have volunteered to make a formal public apology to the world much sooner -- Tiger waited for three months before his, and Toyoda at first balked at the idea of a testimony on Capitol Hill -- at least Toyoda spoke with emotion. He even shed tears when addressing dealers after the hearing. All of which is a prelude to the poll question we posed to our readers last week, namely: What are your opinions of Toyota, in light of Toyoda's testimony? The largest proportion of voters, 41.1%, agreed with the response, "I trust Toyota cars as much as I did before," while 30.6% agreed with the statement, "I'm less trusting of Toyota cars now." >>Click here for full results and analysis of our Toyota poll
Investors have had a week to digest the annual report from Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B), and they clearly