Friday trading closed with stocks accelerating the pace of the previous day’s rally, after the US Department of Labor dropped its heavily anticipated January jobs report indicating that 113,000 souls were hired during the month, a far cry from the 171,000 expected by economists.
Investors were quick to let off on the last few days of nail-biting however, as the dismal figures were largely taken as an assurance that incoming Fed chair Janet Yellen would think twice before pressing ahead with any more cuts to the central bank’s bond-buying program, despite the fact that the overall unemployment rate managed to tick-down by another tenth of a percent to 6.6.
The Final Tally
? Standard & Poor’s 500: +1.33 percent to 1,797.02
? Dow Jones Industrial Average: +1.06 percent to 15,794.08
? Nasdaq: +1.69 percent to 4,125.86
Our Top Stories
? George Brooks warns readers that the rally is by no means a given.
? If that roused your concerns, S&P Capital IQ’s Sam Stovall also seems to think that 2014 will be a challenging year for stocks.
? Guild Investment Management has an interesting piece about the path ahead for civilian/commercial applications for unmanned aerial vehicles.
? Social media darling Twitter (TWTR) rallied modestly on Friday following two days of brutal selling. Jacob Harper puts the company’s performance in the context of Facebook’s (FB) first year of public trading.
? Steve Brozak recently sat down with the Life Sciences Report for a fascinating conversation about the unsustainability of big pharma’s “pill-a-day” paradigm.
? Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (LSCC) , one of the most promising tech stocks on the Equities.com Small-Cap Stars index, bounced nearly 15 percent on a tough earnings report.
? Savings and loan firm Ocwen Financial Corporation (OCN) saw shares jump 4 percent after announcing that it would purchase $39 billion worth of loans from Wells Fargo (WFC) .
? TransCanada Corporation (TRP) has been trying with all its might to get the Keystone XL pipeline up and running, but it looks like the CBC may have just rocked the boat once again after unearthing some potentially damning information about a previously unreported 2009 explosion in Alberta.
On the S&P 500
Tech traded heavily upwards, with Facebook, Micron Technology (MU) , Microsoft (MSFT) among others notching gains by the bell. Vacation and trip planning service Expedia Inc. (EXPE) meanwhile posted the day’s biggest jump, gaining 14.3 percent after releasing a an impressive fourth-quarter earnings statement.
On the Dow
Coca-Cola (KO) was the benchmark index’s only company to have a down day, and that only barely with a loss of 0.21 percent. On the opposite end, Boeing (BA) led the industrials higher, adding 3.55 percent after indications that sales would continue to be strong in the coming year surfaced.
On the Nasdaq
Techs dominated the Nasdaq’s best performers as well, with the main beneficiaries being Yahoo! (YHOO) , Apple (AAPL) and ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN) , but healthcare stocks were also prominent. Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA) and Galena Biopharma (GALE) were up over ten percent, while Gilead Sciences (GILD) added another 3 percent.