Dow Jones Industrial Average Swings Higher; Biotech Stocks Outperform

2 Stocks Put Buyers Can't Afford to Ignore

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:31 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) started the day in the red following a negative reaction to this morning's jobs report. However, an encouraging reading on ISM manufacturing activity -- which signaled expansion for the first time in seven months -- helped Dow stocks shake off a sharp drop in oil prices and relatively hawkish words from Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester to start the second quarter off with a bang. Elsewhere, while the energy sector struggled, biotech stocks boomed -- helping the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) to its highest close of the year.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 17,792.75) shot to a 107.7-point, or 0.6%, win -- notching its highest close of the year. Twenty-four of the Dow's 30 components advanced, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (NYSE:GS) 1.8% pop. Of the six blue-chip losers, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) suffered the most, pulling back 1.2%. On a weekly basis, the Dow gained 1.6%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,072.78) picked up 13 points, or 0.6%, bringing its week-over-week lead to 1.8%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,914.54) tacked on 44.7 points, or 0.9%, and for the week, was up nearly 3%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.10) dropped 0.9 point, or 6.1%, for its lowest close since Aug. 17. On the week, the market's "fear gauge" lost 11.1%.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report showed the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs last month, topping estimates. While the unemployment rate inched up to 5%, analysts suggested this was largely due to a sixth straight monthly increase in workforce participation. (The New York Times)

  2. March U.S. auto sales were mixed, with Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) topping expectations but General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) underperforming. As a whole, however, the industry is still on track to meet the Street's forecast of 17.25 million monthly vehicle sales on an annualized basis. (Reuters, via CNBC)

  3. Deutsche Bank weighed heavily on this pair of airline stocks.

  4. Put players went wild as Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) plunged.

  5. These two gold ETFs went on a roller-coaster ride.


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Crude futures ended the week on a negative note, after Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince said the nation won't freeze production unless Iran and other major producers agree to the program. A rebound in the dollar also pressured the commodity, with May-dated oil futures ending on a $1.55, or 4%, loss at $36.79 per barrel. For the week, crude slid 6.8%.

Gold tumbled as the nonfarm payrolls data sparked rate-hike speculation. At day's end, gold for June delivery was down $12.10, or 1%, at $1,223.50 per ounce. Comparing most active contracts, gold gained 0.2% on the week.


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