Having escaped the debt-ceiling crisis in the nick of time, investors sent Wall Street higher on Tuesday as data on the jobs market released earlier in the morning also undercut renewed speculation about a 2013 timetable for the reduction of the Federal Reserve’s fiscal stimulus program.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.57 percent to close at 1,754.67 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.49 percent to 15,467.66, and the NASDAQ finished off at 3,929.57 points on an advance of 0.24 percent.
Jobs data from the Department of Labor indicated that the nation’s unemployment rate for the month of September shed a slight 0.1 percent to 7.2 percent, against expectations of economists who projected no change. While the slight decrease was a welcome sight, it is becoming increasingly clear that the lower figure has much to do with the labor force participation rate being at its lowest level in some 35 years at 63.2 percent. The news allayed fears that the Fed would begin its planned draw-down of the quantitative easing program before the end of the year.
The financial sector led the S&P higher, with Bank of America (BAC) , Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) and Morgan Stanley (MS) registering the most heavily traded gains. Netflix (NFLX) was a blemish for the benchmark index, however, after the 10 percent advance occasioned by an impressive earnings report released the previous day was erased after CEO Reed Hastings expressed his own concerns about the stocks abnormally high valuation during the earnings call.
The Dow finished higher on a mixed bag of strong performances from Walt Disney Co. (DIS) , Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) , and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) . Shares for large financial institutions, however, did not enjoy the same gains as their S&P counterparts, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) in the red by the closing bell.
On the NASDAQ, Apple’s (AAPL) shares crept about one-third of a percentage-point lower, as investors were apparently not terribly satisfied with the company’s unveiling of a new iPad product, the iPad Air, at an event in San Francisco earlier in the day. The company also announced effective immediately that it’s Maverick OS X software would be made free to all Mac users.
Meanwhile, a variety of tech companies were also trading heavier and higher, with gains for First Solar (FSLR) , while SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) continued to make headway, followed by Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) and Symmetricom Inc. (SYMM) .
In what could be a very good omen for the 3D printing industry, biotech Organovo Inc. (ONVO) rose over 10 percent after announcing that it could use the new technology to successfully recreate liver tissue with a lifespan of up to 40 days.