Stocks Gain for Fourth Day, Ending the Week Up

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 |  Includes: BP, CLDX, DIA, QQQ, SPY, ULTA
by: Midnight Trader

4:21 PM, Sep 3, 2010 --

  • DJIA up 127.8 (1.2%) to 10,448
  • S&P 500 up 14.4 (1.3%) to 1,105
  • Nasdaq up 33.7 (1.5%) to 2,234


GLOBAL SENTIMENT

  • Hang Seng up 0.49%
  • Nikkei up 0.57%
  • FTSE up 1.06%


UPSIDE MOVERS


(+) TTWO continued evening jump that followed surprise profit.

(+) FNSR continued evening jump that followed better-than-expected earnings.

(+) MTG reported positive August operating statistics.

(+) ULTA continued evening gain that followed an earnings beat and guidance mostly above the Street view.

(+) WAG said August same-store sales up 2.1%.

(+) FORTY reported change of control.

(+) BP put latest spill costs at $8 billion.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) CLDX regains rights to cancer vaccine as partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) says program no longer a strategic priority.

(-) PSS downgraded.

(-) CPB meets with earnings, guides mostly below Street view.

MARKET DIRECTION

The major stock averages close up 1.2%-1.5%, making another charge toward the session high late in the day. It's the fourth winning session in a row. The Dow industrials are up 2.9% for the week, the S&P 500 is up 3.8% for the week and the Nasdaq Composite is up 3.7% for the week. For the Dow and the S&P 500, it's the first positive week since early August.

Stocks soared out of the gate with the Dow briefly up more than 100 points on an upbeat jobs report, but the markets quickly gave back almost half their gains after a key service sector index disappointed economists.

Wall Street clearly cheered this morning's jobs report, especially signs of life in the private sector. But a 67,000 job gain there is shy of the 100,000 or so gains that investors want to see to declare a job market recovery.

Crude for October delivery lost 42 cents, or 0.6%, to $74.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after posting steeper losses earlier. Oil lost 0.8% this week, following gains of nearly 2% the week before.

According to Labor Department figures, the U.S. lost 54,000 jobs excluding the farm sector in August. The decline was smaller than the 105,000 loss expected by Wall Street economists polled by MarketWatch. Excluding census workers and other government employees, private payrolls grew 67,000 in August, more than doubling the 30,000 gain expected. That figure is down from a revised 107,000 private-sector gain in July.

The unemployment rate ticked higher to 9.6% in August from 9.5% in the previous month, meeting economists' expectations. This is the highest unemployment rate since May. Average hourly earnings increased 3 cents, or 0.2% to $19.08, slightly better than expected. Earnings are up 1.7% in the past year. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.2 hours.

Also hitting today, the Institute for Supply Management's report on service sector activity took a bite out of the market rally, after it fell to 51.5 in August compared with 54.3 in July. Economists were looking for a reading of 53.5. Still, the index signal growth because it was above 50, the dividing line between expansion and contraction in the economy.