On this jobs report Friday, stocks surged, sagged and at the close surged again. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed at the highs of the day–up 147 points at 15,135.
Today’s tug of war on the street — better than expected jobs news versus a sooner-than-expected end to the Federal Reserve’s bond buying stimulus program.
For a change, the thought of an economy not having Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s training wheels to keep it steady did not cause investors to panic. Analysts are starting to believe that the stronger-than-expected job growth is a real sign that the economy is on track to pick up a little momentum in the second half of the year.
The biggest winners today on the Dow were General Electric, Boeing and Chevron. Twenty-six of the 30 industrials finished the Friday session higher.
Also higher today were mortgage rates. According to BankRate.com, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now 4.4 percent; back on May 1 is was 3.5 percent. That big jump may be one of the reasons homebuilding stocks were among today’s worst performers. Previously on Wednesday, Freddie Mac reported the average of the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 4.29 percent.
Even though rates have climbed nearly a full percent in the last two months, they are still low by historical standards.
Next week Wall Street’s next big numbers parade starts: earning season. This should give investors and Main Street a good idea how corporate America is doing and what the big companies are saying about the economy.