Stocks were highly confused all day after the Labor Department showed that a 6.7% unemployment rate surprise was simply because so many people have dropped out of the workforce. The real bomb was that the payrolls additions were not even half of estimates and were the worst in three years.
24/7 Wall St. decided to focus the stocks that dominated the Dow Jones industrial Average on Friday. There were some serious surprises. Earnings season will start to kick off this coming week, so stay tuned.
At the bell we had the DJIA trading in the red and the S&P 500 index in the black. Here were the unofficial closing bell levels at 4:00 PM:
- DJIA at 16,436.79 (-7.97) – unofficial close
- S&P 500 1,842.37 (+4.24) – unofficial close
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was the dog of the day. Fortunately this was booted out of the DJIA last year, so that means it did not directly impact the index. Still, investors want to think of Alcoa as an earnings season benchmark. After missing earnings it fell over 5% and was down at $$10.13 in the final minutes of trading.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) also stunk up the DJIA with its earnings forecast looking down over 20% from the same quarter a year ago. So what if refining margins were good. This stock was at a loss of 1.8% in the final minutes of trading, down to $121.06 from a 52-week high of $127.83.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was fighting Chevron to have the worst performance of the day on Friday. This may have been more profit taking because the stock opened up at $$76.20, only a dime within its new all-time high put in this week.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) stood out strongly today because of an analyst upgrade. The stock was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $42 from $36 at Barclays. So what if no CEO heir has stepped forward. Shares were up by over 1.3% to $36.01 in the final minutes of trading. This was the highest DJIA percentage gainer on the day.
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) was the second highest percentage gainer on the DJIA on Friday. It seems that investors are continuing to bet that it won’t be in the biggest DJIA laggards in 2014 like it was in 2013, but valuations (forward P/E ratio of 18 for 2014 estimates) are too high to make it a value stock. Shares were up just over 1% at $40.14 in the final minutes of trading.