The S&P extended above 1600 for the first time ever Friday on the strength of this morning’s strong jobs report. The US economy added 165,000 non-farm payroll jobs in April versus expectations of 150,000. More significantly, the jobs numbers for February and March were revised higher by a combined 110,000. The report does need to be taken with a grain of salt, though, as the 63.3% participation rate in the labor force remained unchanged at its lowest levels since 1979. The S&P finished the day with gains of 1.05%.
S&P futures opened about 12 handles higher this morning after trading in slightly negative territory prior to the jobs report, and rallied further off the opening bell. The bull stampede continued until about 10:30 AM ET before running out of steam. The resulting candlestick is not the most bullish you will ever see, but the real key will be whether we get follow-through or rest early next week, or whether there is some profit taking that takes the market into today’s gap.
With the large gap up in the indices, naturally there was a lot of strength from individual stock names we watch closely.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened sharply higher but was fairly quiet during the session, finishing with gains of 1.00%. It feels like AAPL has turned a corner and could be headed back for definitive break of the macro downtrend.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) was a standout, rallying to new all-time highs thanks to strength before and after the opening bell. GOOG is the clear leader of the tech sector after finished the day up 1.94%.
The air came out of LinkedIn (NASDAQ:LNKD) today after the company delivered a rare earnings miss last night. LNKD has spent most of its public life surpassing earnings expectations and came into last night’s announcement riding high. However, with a sky-high PE ratio, the stock was priced for perfection and the mediocre report sent it down 10% after-hours, and it couldn’t stop the bleeding during the session. LNKD finished the day down 12.94%.
Staying within the social media sector, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) frustrated traders once again by not following through. Yesterday FB reacted well following its earnings reported, which included in-line headline numbers but higher than expected growth in its mobile ad revenue, a key detail analysts have been watching for the company. FB was only able to open slightly higher this morning, though, and trended lower throughout the session, finishing down 2.24%.
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) is also reemerging as a tech leader after a bout of weakness following earnings in mid-April. The stocked gapped down and continued lower following the weak report, but dip buyers have stepped in aggressively now and helped IBM fill most of the gap. IBM finished the day up 1.05%, with most of its gains coming in the pre-market after positive comments from Warren Buffett.
Disclosure: Scott Redler is long BAC, short FB 29.5 calls
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