Street Edges Lower as DJIA, S&P Torn Between Jobs Data and Ukraine Tensions

Michael Teague |

Stocks closed slightly lower to end the week of trading on Friday, despite the Department of Labor’s jobs report showing the nation’s unemployment rate had dropped to 6.3 percent, well below the Fed’s originally-stated target of 6.5 percent.

The news comes as the central bank earlier this week reiterated its intent to keep interest rates near historic lows, despite last year’s contention that rates would be allowed to go back up in the event that the unemployment rate dropped below the 6.5 percent target threshold.

More pressure came in the form of geopolitics. While investors had become more or less inured to the Ukraine crisis, news through the previous evening seemed to indicate a serious escalation of tensions west of the Russian border, as the Kiev government lost two helicopters to rebel surface-to-air missiles during what was by many accounts a heated and open exchange of gunfire.

Results for Friday May 2, 2014

●     Standard & Poor’s 500: -0.13 percent to 1,881.14

●     NASDAQ: -0.09 percent to 4,123.90

●     Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.28 percent to 16,512.89

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●     Mortgage provider Ellie Mae (ELLI) beat street expectations during the recently-ended fiscal period for the second consecutive quarter.

●     Independent unconventional oil and gas play Gastar Exploration (GST) traded up on decent volume after Wunderlich Capital initiated coverage on the stock with a “buy” rating.

●     Jacob Harper takes a look at the 5 best-performing stocks on the Small-Cap Stars financials index.

●     Student loan provider Sallie Mae (SLM) just announced the spin-off of its student loan segment into a standalone entity by the name of Navient ($NAVI).

●     In small-cap healthcare news, Immunomedics (IMMU) saw shares head south after pricing its IPO, while RXi Pharmaceuticals (RXII) was higher after reporting positive results from testing of a treatment for retinal scarring.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
ELLI Ellie Mae Inc. 101.31 -0.65 -0.64 335,932
GST Gastar Exploration Inc 1.35 -0.04 -2.88 3,495,112
IMMU Immunomedics Inc. 2.24 -0.05 -2.18 1,097,790
NAVI Navient Corporation 13.03 -0.18 -1.36 3,928,586
NHNKY Nihon Kohden Corp. (Japan) ADR 12.40 0.10 0.81 301
RXII RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation 1.19 0.01 0.85 61,474
SLM SLM Corporation 7.14 0.02 0.28 2,995,273


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