What Might Move the Dow Today

The market continued its slide after Tuesday's release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting and an uneasy Spanish bond auction, and now we look to some hints at unemployment figures with today's initial and continuing claims reports. Here's a breakdown on what these reports could mean for the overall Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) before the final day of the short trading week.

Unemployment
Initial claims, which tracks the number of people filing for jobless benefits, were reported at 359,000 last week. This week, the market expects these claims to be a hair lower, at 355,000. For continuing claims, the market expects a small increase to 3.36 million, over last week's 3.34 million. Looking at the average jobless claims over the past decade, the country trends toward pre-recession lows:

US Average Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Chart

US Average Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance data by YCharts

These reports are a prelude to tomorrow's employment report, which is expected to show an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.3%. Because of the Good Friday holiday tomorrow, any market reaction to the employment report will be seen on Monday. With little positive news expected from either report, investors will have to look elsewhere for news to bolster the market sentiment.

Yesterday's losses
General Electric's (NYSE: GE  ) credit rating was downgraded yesterday, as Moody's cited risks at GE Capital. However, the stock's decline of 1.1% was in line with the Dow's loss of 0.94%, as investors agreed with GE's defense that its credit position has "only improved in the past few years."

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) suffered more than a 2% decline and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) took a 3% hit yesterday. JPMorgan was fined $20 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for mishandling customer funds related to the Lehman Brothers liquidation. Even with yesterday's rough trading session, Bank of America still remains up more than 65% for the year.

Also leading the losses was Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) , losing 2.49%. RBC Capital lowered its earnings estimate for the company based on increased energy costs, among other worries. Alcoa will release first-quarter earnings on April 10.

No matter what ...
Every bit of news might nudge stocks up or down for one day, but that doesn't mean much for long-term investors looking to outperform the market. A solid company pays no attention to the everyday changes in share price but instead looks for long-term value creation. To reveal three such solid stocks that will help you construct your retirement portfolio, along with the habits needed to build wealth far into the future, read our free report: "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." Get it for free!

Fool contributor Dan Newman holds no shares of the companies mentioned above. Follow him on Twitter, where he goes by @TMFHelloNewman. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1855937, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/16/2014 7:51:15 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement