Markets woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, but as the day wore on, traders pushed stocks close to breakeven for the day. Near the end of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is up a single point, or 0.01%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.18%.
The initial pop this morning was due to a positive jobs report. Jobless claims fell to 339,000 last week -- a low we haven't seen in four years. We've been posting positive job numbers for some time now, and this reinforces the falling unemployment rate that was reported a week ago.
Banks are moving higher after Bloomberg News reported that the European Union may delay implementing some Basel capital rules for as long as one year. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) traded 1.3% higher in late trading, and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) is up 0.3%. Banks hate regulation, and from Europe to the U.S., banks will bounce when they see a reduction in regulation.
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Disney (NYSE: DIS ) was the biggest loser in the Dow, falling 1.4% as of 3:20 p.m. EDT. Stan Lee Media has sued the company, saying it controls the rights to Marvel characters used in box office hits like The Avengers. Disney says three federal district court judges have already thrown out these claims in the past, so we shouldn't worry about it. I don't think this is a time for Mickey Mouse to panic, but a multibillion-dollar lawsuit can make investors nervous, no matter the merit.
Oil has moved 1.1% higher today to $92.22, partially driven by the jobs numbers. As the economy improves, we'll use more oil, and traders are betting that prices will continue to rise.