The U.S. Department of Labor released positive employment data this morning, and that has given markets a boost going into the weekend. In September, the U.S. economy created 114,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% -- the lowest level since January 2009. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is up 0.28%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) has risen 0.11%.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) led the Dow higher today, rising 1.9% on hopes that the improving employment picture will help the housing market. Home improvement has been put on the back burner, and with housing and employment improving, the companies serving this market should benefit.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is up 1.6% a day after reporting a 17% increase in commercial-plane shipments. In the third quarter, 149 planes were shipped, and the company increased 787 shipments to 12 from just one a year ago.
On the downside, United Healthcare (NYSE: UNH ) has fallen 1.8% today because health care was a big driver of the employment gains. This might seem counterintuitive, but improving health care employment could be viewed as an indication that costs will increase, squeezing margins in the future. This is a big projection based on a single jobs report, and I wouldn't be too concerned about it until we hear about third-quarter earnings.
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