Market Overview

Market Wrap for Friday, January 4: Stocks Rise, Dow Adds 44

The U.S. stock market grinded higher for most of Friday's trading session, sending the major averages out in positive territory. The stock market has jumped to begin 2013 as investors have been purchasing risk assets in the wake of the deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

Major Averages

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed around 44 points to close at 13,485.

The S&P 500 was up by around 7 points, or 0.49 percent, and finished the session at 1,466.

The Nasdaq was the laggard on the day and only gained 0.04 percent to just below 3,102.

Nonfarm Payrolls

The December jobs numbers came in better than expected which helped trigger risk appetite on Wall Street. The Nonfarm payrolls number was 155,000 versus a consensus estimate of 150,000. The November period was also revised up to 161,000 from 146,000.

Private payrolls also came in better than expected, notching a gain of 168,000 versus consensus expectations of 165,000. The November private payroll data was revised to 171,000 from 147,000.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate did not show the drop that economists had been expecting, coming in at 7.8 percent versus estimates of 7.7 percent.

Hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent, one basis point above expectations. The average work week was 34.5 hours compared to 34.4 in November.

The November factory orders data was flat compared to economists expectations of a rise of 0.5 percent. In the prior month period, factory orders showed a gain of 0.8 percent.

ISM Services

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index was strong in December, rising to 56.1 from 54.7 in November. This compared to consensus estimates which called for a dip to 53.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

This market generally does not give this reading a lot of attention because the services index is less cyclical than the manufacturing sector.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar was largely unchanged versus a basket of foreign currencies on Friday. The closely watched EUR/USD was slightly lower on the day and was trading down 0.24 percent to $1.3185 at last check.

The Australian dollar was particularly strong against the greenback, rising more than 1 percent on the session while the U.S. dollar was strong against the yen with the USD/JPY climbing more than 0.60 percent.

The other currency pair that was active on Friday was the USD/CAD which fell 0.67 percent to $0.9858.

Commodities

U.S. crude oil was slightly higher on the session. NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, added roughly 0.14 percent to $93.05 while Brent crude contracts fell 0.71 percent to $111.34. Natural gas contracts snapped a losing streak and gained around 2.60 percent to $3.28.

Both gold and silver were lower on the day. COMEX gold futures notched losses of more than 1 percent to $1,657.50. Silver futures shed around 1.60 percent and were last trading at $30.23.

Losses also hit the agricultural complex with most of the grains falling more than 1 percent. Corn lost over 1.30 percent and wheat was down 1.09 percent.

Bonds

Long-term Treasuries rose on the day after falling in recent sessions. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) added 0.40 percent to $118.41.

Yields on U.S. Treasuries were slightly lower with both 5-Year and 10-Year Note yields falling one basis point to 0.82 percent and 0.91 percent, respectively. The yield on the 30-Year Bond fell three basis points to 3.10 percent.

Stock Movers

Shares of yoga-inspired retailer Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU) lost a little better than 4 percent on the session in the wake of an analyst downgrade.

Struggling grocery chain SuperValu (NYSE: SVU) jumped in mid-day trading after a report said that private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management was close to a deal to buy some parts of the grocer and take a stake in others. The stock closed up around 13.50 percent to $2.94.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD) surged more than 10 percent on the session and closed at $11.15. The move came after Longbow Research initiated the stock with a Buy rating and $15.00 price target on Friday morning.

MBIA Inc. (NYSE: MBI) rallied sharply in afternoon trade and closed up almost 12 percent to $9.09 on very heavy volume.

Other movers included Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL), which lost more than 8 percent after disappointing third-quarter results and weak fourth-quarter guidance, and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) which fell more than 6 percent on weak holiday sales results. Finish Line also cut its full-year guidance on Friday morning.

Posted-In: Bonds Broad U.S. Equity ETFs Futures Commodities Forex Intraday Update Markets Movers Best of Benzinga

 

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