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Dow Jones Today, Dec. 5, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both hit new record highs Friday. The Dow struck its seventh-straight weekly gain and clocked a late rally to come within striking distance of the vaunted 18,000 mark.
Dow: 17,958.79, +58.69, +0.33%
S&P 500: 2,075.37, +3.45, +0.17%
Nasdaq: 4,780.75, +11.32, +0.24%
What Moved the Markets Today: A strong November jobs report added rocket fuel to the Dow Jones. This morning's jobs report revealed the U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs last month – the biggest monthly gain since 2012. More data showed the U.S. unemployment rate slipped to 5.8%, falling in line with consensus expectations. In November, private payrolls added 321,000 non-farm jobs, far outpacing consensus expectations of 225,000. The news does leave the U.S. Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates sometime in mid-2015. (Editor's note: In spite of the strong jobs report, we're not "all clear" on the jobs front just yet – here's why…)
Now check out the day's most important market notes:
- Feeling Good: In very positive news for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, his family, and his company, doctors told him he is cancer-free. The announcement comes five months after the banking executive was diagnosed with throat cancer. The stock jumped more than 2% on the day. The news had immediately rattled JPM investors and raised concerns five months ago about a possible management change.
- Tech Battles: Shares of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) were up 1.15% on the day, but slipped 1.3% in post-market hours. The stock received an upgraded rating from a prominent analyst at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC). The analyst said that Yahoo remains tied to the success of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) stock. Meanwhile, the BAC analyst lowered his view on Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, GOOGL), citing concerns about regulatory efforts in Europe to separate the company's search services from the rest of the firm. GOOG shares dipped by 2.2%.
- Earnings Plunge: Shares of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) cratered more than 16.5% on news the company reported a larger than expected third-quarter loss. The company also received a significant price target cut from Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) to a range of $52 to $53 per share.
- Now Selling Diapers: Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) dipped 1.3% on investor concerns that the company just won't stop trying to enter new markets. In another twist to the company's pursuit of e-commerce dominance, Amazon launched its own line of diapers. The firm's private brand Amazon Elements Diapers and Baby Wipes went on sale yesterday. This is the second launch this week to pit the firm against branded rivals. Amazon also just launched its own food delivery service to compete against GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB).
- The Bleeding Continues: The problems in Europe continue to go from bad to worse. Even though European stocks are at a seven-year high on hopes for increased European Central Bank stimulus, debt concerns are hammering individual economies. This afternoon, Standard & Poor's slashed Italy's long- and short-term credit rating to a notch just above junk status. The ratings agency said that the European bloc's fourth-largest economy is hampered by high taxes, an underperforming services sector, and high severance costs for former employees of businesses.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading:
- This Country's Huge "Pricing Error" Will Send These Shares Soaring: The Saudis are very frustrated about losing control over pricing power they've held for decades. It's annoying them to no end, in fact. So, they're fighting back the only way they know how to shift the balance back in their favor – by starting a price war with the United States. But Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald says they've made the biggest strategic "pricing error" in the kingdom's history. And in doing so, they've actually cleared the way for America's shale energy boom and opened up a killer opportunity for one company in particular.
- One Stock That Will Profit from a New, Breakthrough Medical Direction: Modern medicine, for all of its sophisticated drugs, complex gadgets, and amazing surgical procedures, rarely cures anything. It treats. It manages. It postpones the inevitable. But return a patient to normal, optimal health? Rarely. So when an innovation comes along that can effect a complete and permanent remission of disease or restore damaged organs to a pristine state, it should cause your keenest investing instincts to perk up and pay attention…
- How We'll Play the 2014 Year-End Rally: Stocks are headed higher through year end for many reasons, but one in particular is telling. It's really simple, yet too many people have overlooked it. Indeed, most wouldn't even give it enough thought. And that would be a big mistake. As Money Morning's Shah Gilani explains, if you understand that one compelling reason, you can pick some winners – and pocket big profits – yourself.