Wall Street Cheers April Jobs Report
Stocks shot out of the gate Friday after a better-than-expected April jobs report.
The Dow industrials gained more than 100 points in the first few minutes of trading. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also advanced.
Nonfarm payrolls declined by 20,000 jobslast month, but that was far better than the projected loss of 75,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, also better than expected. A separate report showed factory orders rose 1.4 percent in March.
"This [payrolls number] is exactly what you want to see to continue the rally that we have started to see over the last couple of weeks," Jack Bouroudjian, of Brewer Investment Group, told CNBC. "Keep an eye on the dollar -- that will be the key over the next couple of months -- that will determine if this rally has legs or not," he said.
Minutes before the April jobs report was released, the Federal Reserve announced that it was expanding the size of its term-auction facilityto help ease persistent strains in credit markets.
Financials were mostly higher, with a few exceptions: JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Deutsche Bank all declined.
Financial companies face a 40 percent decline in earnings in the second quarter, according to Michael Thompson, managing director of Thomson Reuters.
Airlines retreated after a meteoric rally recently. Among notable decliners were AMR , parent of American, and Continental .
Chevron reported its earnings rose 10 percentto $5.17 billion as record oil prices outweighed weak profits from gasoline production.
A day earlier, ExxonMobil reported its net income rose 17 percentto $10.9 billion, but fell short of expectations due to squeezed margins.
In tech land, investors are anticipating a definitive move from Microsoft regarding its attempt to buy Yahoo .
Microsoft is leaning to making a hostile bid, but Yahoo could also announce a partnership deal with Google as early as next week to fend off the takeover.
Nortel Networks posted a steeper-than-expected loss of $138 million as results were hurt by charges for restructuring, litigation and other items. Still, the telecom-equipment maker said it expects to meet its full-year targets.
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