Today's stock market news, Feb. 7, 2014: The U.S. markets rose on Thursday as jobless claims were lower than expected, and hopes for an improving labor market surged.
Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 1.22% to 15,628.46. The S&P 500 ticked up 1.24% to 1,773.43, and the Nasdaq grew 1.14% to 4,057.12.
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.6%, from an expected 6.7%. While the rate declined, the economy created 113,000 jobs in January, versus the 185,000 from economists' forecasts. The labor participation rate increased slightly to 63% from 62.8% in December.
In addition to the jobs report, here are the stories to watch in today's stock market.
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, Feb. 7, 2014
- In a staggering report by EPFR Global, total outflows from emerging market equity funds since Jan. 1 have already exceeded the total investors withdrew during all of 2013. The Boston research company told subscribers last night that investors have pulled more than $6.37 billion from emerging equity funds and $1.98 billion from bond funds from New Year's Day through Feb. 5. The capital flight back to the United States and safer markets signifies growing concern over the long-term security of these nations' economies.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced it has spent nearly half of the $100 billion it has earmarked to repurchase stock. The company spent nearly $14 billion in the last two weeks repurchasing shares, according to CEO Tim Cook. Shares of Apple are up 2% in early morning trading.
- Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) slid in post-hours trading by nearly 6% after the company beat consensus estimates and reported it now has 277 million members. It is the latest online company to show earnings growth, but experience a sell-off due to receding expectations from shareholders. The company also announced it had acquired Bright, a job-matching-service company, for $120 million. The deal consisted of 73% stock and 27% cash. Get the full story on what's next for LNKD stock here.
- According to the Financial Times, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) may sell its semiconductor business. The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) to find potential suitors for the company. However, it may take a substantial offer to make the deal happen. IBM could consider a joint venture as an alternative.
- Reports on Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) currently owning a 5.94% stake in Lenovo Group (OTC: LNVGY) are premature, according to reports. Instead, Google might purchase a $750-million stake in Lenovo Group in the event that the computer company finalizes its deal to purchase Motorola Mobility. According to a filing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Lenovo agreed to purchase Google's Motorola handset division last week for $2.91 billion. Google will keep most of the mobile patents after the deal. Lenovo has been busy in 2014 – which is a bullish signal for its stock...
Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility lies ahead. But there's still a way to find profits in a volatile market – like triple-digit gains in just days - if you start with this strategy…
U.S. Economic Calendar Feb. 7, 2014
- Nonfarm payrolls at 8:30 a.m.
- Unemployment rate at 8:30 a.m.
- Hourly earnings at 8:30 a.m.
- Average workweek at 8:30 a.m.
- January consumer credit at 3:00 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings Feb. 7, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is $1.66.
- Consensus earnings per share for Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BLP) is $0.86.
- Consensus earnings per share for Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) is $0.82.
- Consensus earnings per share for The Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE: MSG) is $0.67.