The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) just barely extended its losing streak to a third down day.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average
|S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC )
Yesterday the market fell after ADP released its employment report that showed employment numbers rising by 209,000 in March, below February's gain of 230,000. Today, the jobs news continued, though it was slightly better than analysts expected. At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Department of Labor reported that unemployment claims fell to 357,000 from last week's 363,000. Analysts were expecting 360,000. Reports come tomorrow on the March unemployment rate and nonfarm payrolls, and analysts are expecting the Bureau of Labor statistics to report growth of 210,000 jobs for March.
In other news, traders were eyeing the clock all afternoon in anticipation of a long weekend. The market is closed tomorrow, and numerous analysts said they're "looking forward to catching up on their reading." There was no other real news on the day.
Today's top Dow stock was Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) , up 1.54% to $50.62. The company has a slight tailwind behind it, as three weeks ago the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that building permits rose 5% month over month in February to a seasonally adjusted 717,000. That's up 34% from last February's 534,000. Fool analyst Sean Williams recently called Home Depot a great dividend stock you could buy right now. He believes Home Depot will do well no matter which way housing numbers go, as any activity in the housing market is good for the company.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) was today's worst Dow stock, down 1.83% to $9.63. The company reported that it will cut its production capacity by 390,000 tonnes, down to 18 million tonnes per year. Alcoa's stock price has plummeted 45% over the past year as an oversupply in the alumina market has led to falling prices. The company reports earnings next Tuesday, and analysts expect a slight loss. But while the market has soured on Alcoa, Fool analyst David Lee Smith believes Alcoa's future may be even brighter than you think.
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