There were two economic releases today which were mixed for stocks. The first release was the Department of Labor's nonfarm payroll report. The U.S. economy created 114,000 new jobs in September, below last month's 142,000 and analyst expectations of 115,000 to 118,000.
The second economic release today was the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, marking the first time it's been below 8% in the past three years. That's down from 8.1% in August and far better than analyst expectations of 8.2%. Manufacturing continues to shed jobs, while the government, finance, health care, and transportation sectors added jobs in the month.
The markets as a whole are up, and a few stocks are leading the Dow higher.
Today's Dow leaders
Today's Dow leader is Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) up 1.85% ($1.15) to $62.88. The home improvement retailer hit a 52-week high today of $63.09 before falling slightly. Home Depot has been on a tear this year with the steadily improving housing market. The stock is up nearly 50% year to date. Fool analyst Sean Williams recently wrote on why Home Depot CEO Francis Blake is one incredible CEO.
Second for the day is Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , up 1.63% ($1.15) to $71.08. On Wednesday Boeing closed a deal to sell 85 737s to GE's (NYSE: GE ) leasing business. The deal was first announced in July at England's Farnborough International Airshow. Fool analyst John Maxfield recently took an in-depth look at Boeing. Click here for his take.
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