Stocks trim losses after jobs report

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 11:40am

Wall Street doesn't like the jobs report, but it doesn't hate it either. Welcome to the "meh" market.

The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both retreated from the all-time highs they hit Thursday. But the declines were modest and both indexes were well off the morning's lows Friday afternoon. The Nasdaq eked out a modest gain.

The U.S. government said employers added 162,000 jobs in July, below forecasts. At the same time, the unemployment rate did fall to 7.4% from 7.6% in June.

"There's something for everyone in this report, whether you're an optimist or pessimist," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "That's why the market is not reacting strongly."

She said the jobs report was consistent with the overall trend in the economy: the pace of improvement is slower than most would like, but things aren't getting worse.

This "slow grind in the economy" has powered the bull market so far, and should be enough to support the market going forward, said Warne.

Taper timeline revised: The jobs report provided few clues for investors hoping to gauge when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its $85 billion-per-month bond buying program.

Investors had been hoping for a clear sign of improvement, which would have made it more likely that tapering could begin in September. But the muddy jobs report has caused investors to reconsider that assumption and some are now betting the Fed will sit tight until October, or even next year.

"We need to see clear signs of sustainable improvement and stronger momentum in the jobs market before tapering can really start," said Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital in London, who expects the Fed to delay tapering until 2014.

While the stock market was relatively sanguine, the response in the bond market was more pronounced.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank from about 2.74% before the report to 2.61%.

The U.S. dollar was also under pressure. The greenback slid 0.7% versus the U.K. pound and 0.4% versus the euro.

Dell sweetens the deal: On the corporate front, Dell founder Michael Dell sweetened a buyout deal he and Silver Lake Management made for the PC maker.

On the earnings front, Toyota reported a 94% jump in quarterly profit, helped by a weaker yen.

Viacom, the media company that owns cable networks MTV and Nickelodeon. also reported a jump in quarterly revenue and profit.

Shares of Weight Watchers plunged after the company reported weak earnings and announced that CEO David Kirchhoff will step down.

Best of StockTwits: Facebook has been a star performer recently, but other social media companies were also having a good week, as traders on StockTwits pointed out.

LinkedIn shares surged after it reported better-than-expected results and boosted its full-year forecast.

svKatface: $LNKD Can't fight the MoMo, at least not the first few days off the block.

Yelp shares were trading at an all-time high after the provider of online reviews reported strong quarterly results earlier this week.

timeday: just took a look at $YELP did they find oil and or gold

Is HP working on a smartphone? Hewlett Packard shares jumped, but it was unclear what was behind the move.

ItsMeexD: well $HPQ over here going parabolic #wtf

Some traders chocked it up to a report that HP is working on a smartphone that would compete with Apple's iPhone. But others said the push to take Dell private could give HP a leg up.

eddyhooks: $HPQ -IMO-up move because it is believed a leveraged $DELL is good for hpq-could also opposite case it will push DELL 2 get price aggressive.


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