Friday was a volatile day on Wall Street as investors digested the premarket employment data. Originally stocks jumped higher as the non farm payroll number beat expectations for the first time in 3 months (even as the unemployment rate rose) but in the mid morning sold off quite sharply. The rest of the session was random as indexes finished mixed with the S&P 500 up 0.05% and the NASDAQ dropping 0.37%. This is the second day of underperformance by the NASDAQ vs the other indexes.
Employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after creating 129,000 new positions in January, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent. Payrolls averaged about 205,000 new jobs per month in the first 11 months of 2013, but that figure dropped to just 129,000 for December, January and February. The report also showed the largest increase in average hourly earnings in eight months and the payrolls count for December and January was revised up to show 25,000 more jobs created during those months than previously reported. The labor force participation rate held steady at a paltry 63.0%.
For index watchers a spike today would have been a good area to unload short term positions began about a month ago when the NASDAQ breached the lower trend line in purple. Both indexes were quite a way from even their 10 day moving average and if the NASDAQ had spiked it would have hit an area it has stalled often. However we never really saw this index get close to the upper trend line today before reversing.
The bond market liked today’s news as it was one of the few solid pieces of economic data in the past few months; ten year treasury yields had hit 2.6% just a few days back, but rallied to nearly 2.8%.
It was a good day for footwear, as Foot Locker (FL) delivered a better-than-expected 5.3% same-store sales in the fourth quarter.
This helped Nike (NKE) as well.
Big Lots (BIG) had a very ugly chart coming into the day but was a big mover after the retailer reported a better-than-expected adjusted profit for the holiday quarter.
We spoke yesterday of Chinese internet stocks having a good time of late – today we’ll highlight a name that has become a momentum trader favorite: 58.com (WUBA). Per Yahoo Finance:
58.com Inc. (WUBA) operates China’s largest online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers, as measured by monthly unique visitors on both its www.58.com website and mobile applications. The Company’s online marketplace enables local merchants and consumers to connect, share information and conduct business.
Investor’s Business Daily calls it the Craigslist of China… since reporting profit of 13 cents a share late in February (reversing a year-ago loss), the stock has been on fire. Sales growth accelerated, rising 83% to $45.3 million.