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Midday Market Report: Improving US Job Market Lifts Stocks


Stocks are rallying on the improved jobs picture, but still no word on whether Greece's swap will trigger credit default swaps.

Europe's markets are in positive territory today as the US jobs market continued to improve and Greece convinced nearly all of its creditors to submit to the debt swap. At market close, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association is still deliberating on whether this swap -- the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history -- constitutes a credit event. If they decide that it is, credit default swaps on Greek debt will be triggered.
  • The Eurostoxx 50 (^STOXX50E) ended the day up 0.07% at 2,515.95.
  • The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.47% to 5,887.49.
  • Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) fell 3.40% to 6,880.21.
US equities are rallying on the better-than-expected jobs data. The headline number, a gain of 227,000 jobs in February, wasn't as impressive as some of the details. Labor market participation actually turned up 0.2%, weakening the argument that the unemployment rate is decreasing because people are just giving up. January's blowout job gain was also revised up to 284,000.
  • The Dow (^DJI) rose 0.33%, to 12,950.10. 21 of the index's components are positive today.
  • The S&P 500 (SPY) is nearing a four-year high, rising 0.55% to 1,373.39.
  • The Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 0.73% to 2,992.16.
Oil rose on the improved economic outlook for America. WTI crude advanced 0.95% to $107.59/barrel and Brent rose 0.29% to $125.80/barrel.

Every sector is ahead today, led by consumer cyclical stocks. Nike (NKE) gained 1.96%. Sprint Nextel (S) rose 7.12%. Yesterday, Wells Fargo analysts said in a report that Sprint is likely to gain subscribers disillusioned by AT&T's (T) unpopular data cap and price moves.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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