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
Our Top Stories
? Thom Calandra files this missive from his recent trip to Los Angeles, where the weather was apparently gorgeous, and the talent abundant.
? Yvan De Munck has a thoughtful piece on the enormous potential of online lending.
? Senior Editor Michael Teague has a look at some ofthe most promising shale plays outside of the US.
? Senior Editor Joel Anderson found this handy infographic on what is likely one of the less-practiced investing strategies, namely the heist.
? Andy Waldock explains the Energy Policy and Conservation Act as it relates commercial short selling of West Texas crude.
? Senior Editor and cryptocurrency correspodent Jacob Harper discusses a video that explains Bitcoin alternative Dogecoin.
? 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.