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Wall Street up on Fed-affirming jobs data; Netflix hit

October 23, 2013

By Julia Edwards

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 to a new intraday record, after weaker-than-expected job creation last month validated expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain its economic stimulus into next year.

The Nasdaq pared gains after some of the year’s biggest winners, including Netflix Inc , reversed course to move lower.

“The most volatile sector, in terms of risk and return, is going to be the technology sector,” said Jon Smith, chief investment officer at DT Investment Partners. “You can never necessarily tell exactly what is going to happen in the tech story in general.”

U.S. employers added 148,000 workers last month, well below the 180,000 economists had expected. The data is seen as supporting the Fed’s decision to maintain its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which has helped stocks rally in 2013.

Many economists think the Fed will hold off on scaling back its easy money policy, which has kept borrowing costs low, until next year.

“The jobs report gave us a Goldilocks number. It was kind of warm, but wasn’t too hot or too cold either. It was right there, in line to push back tapering to next year,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

Netflix shares fell 6.4 percent to $332.90, reversing the rise that followed the release of the company’s earnings report on Monday. Volume in the stock spiked as it fell into negative territory on the day. With more than 17 million shares traded, volume was nearly six times the average over the last 50 days.

Apple lost 0.4 percent to $519.23, though losses ebbed after the company unveiled a new line of iPads at 1 p.m. EST (1700 GMT).

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 49.96 points, or 0.32 percent, at 15,442.16. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 7.34 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,752.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2.02 points, or 0.05 percent, at 3,922.07.

The S&P earlier hit a record intraday high at 1,759.33.

Payroll figures for August were revised higher and the September unemployment rate ticked down to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent.

Transocean shares rose 5.6 percent to $49.18 after S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the drilling services company will replace Dell on the S&P 500 index after the close of trading next Monday.

Shares of cloud software maker VMware Inc rose 5 percent to $86.79 a day after it reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

High-end handbag maker Coach fell 7.4 percent to $50.17 after it posted smaller-than-expected quarterly revenue.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards, additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Ellen Freilich; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Kenneth Barry and Nick Zieminski)

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