After closing out October with their first monthly loss since May, US benchmark stock indexes rose sharply in mid-Thursday trading after two positive signs in the labor market.
The ADP reported that the private sector added 158,000 jobs in October, more than the 155,000 predicted by economists. Initial jobless claims also dipped 23,000 to 363,000.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 1.09% to 13,238.84 points as of 12:01 p.m. EDT
Leading the day’s rally were tech stocks, including Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT), whose upwards momentum from yesterday was carried over. The stock gained 3.25% to $29.47, as Microsoft continues to bask in the glow of the releases of its Surface Tablet and Windows 8 operating system.
Economic bellwethers United Technologies
(NYSE:UTX) (+1.97% to $79.70) and Caterpillar
(NYSE:CAT) (+2.38% to $2.02) also rose sharply amidst rising optimism about the economy. United Technologies was also awarded a contract to build new engine technologies, while Caterpillar is believed to be one of the beneficiaries when reconstruction of Hurricane Sandy-wrecked areas begins.
Only four of the 30 Dow components were down on the day. The biggest decliner was Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE). The pharmaceutical giant slid 1.33% to $24.54 after it cut its full-year earnings per share guidance to $2.14 - $2.17 from $2.12 - $2.22.
(NYSE:WMT) also dipped 1.60% to $73.82 in a bearish day for big-box retailers. Costco
(NYSE:COST) (-0.34%) and Target
(NYSE:TGT) (-0.65%) fell as well.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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