Despite a disappointing jobs report released this morning, the markets are up considerably today thanks to a number of company-specific announcements. With a little over an hour remaining in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is higher by an impressive 117 points, or 0.91%.
Private-sector jobs down in November
According to payroll-processing firm Automatic Data Processing, employers added only 118,000 new private-sector jobs last month. This was well-below the 157,000 private-sector jobs added in October and short of the consensus estimate of 125,000 new positions.
Many analysts are blaming the disappointing results on Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Northwest region at the end of October. "Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc" on the economy, said one analyst to The Wall Street Journal. Some are even claiming that it reduced the ADP figures by as much as 86,000 jobs. Importantly, however, some of the negative impact was offset by an unusually early Thanksgiving, which unofficially kicks off the holiday shopping season.
The real test will be tomorrow's report from the Department of Labor, which also includes hiring and firing trends from the public sector.
Big news impacts multiple companies
In individual company news, shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , the nation's second-largest bank by assets, are up sharply today and have topped the $10 threshold for the first time since July of 2011. The move comes on the heels of Citigroup's (NYSE: C ) announcement that it will cut 11,000 jobs, principally from its back-office operations, to better compete in the post-financial-crisis world of heightened capital requirements and reduced fee income. Shares of Citigroup are also up following the announcement.
Alternatively, shares of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) are down 4.8% today after a research report questioned its iron grip over the tablet market and a clearing house raised margin requirements on its stock. The stock has now sunk by 20% since its September highs, putting it firmly in bear-market territory. Earlier this morning, market research company IDC said Apple's share of the global tablet market is bound to fall. The Cupertino-based technology company currently controls 56.3% of the market. According to IDC, that share could fall to less than 50% by 2016 due to stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) .
To see a slideshow that compares the tablets on sale this holiday season, click here.
Along those lines, as my colleague Matt Thalman pointed out, shares of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) are also lower today following a ratings downgrade. Hans Mosesmann of Raymond James reduced the rating on the chip maker's stock from "market perform" to "underperform." According to Matt, Mosesmann cited two reasons. First, at the end of last month, Intel CEO Paul Otellini decided to step down. While he remains at the helm until the middle of next year, many are interpreting the move as a sign of worse things to come. Second, gross margins are shrinking due to the negative trends in the personal-computer industry. As Matt noted, "With PC sales declining and the mobile revolution happening without Intel, maintaining high margins will be difficult moving forward."
Finally, shares of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) are down nearly 2% after exploding higher yesterday following an announcement that it has teamed up with Disney (NYSE: DIS ) to offer the latter's movies via its streaming service. According to reports of the deal, it gives Netflix the coveted and exclusive right to stream Disney movies shortly after they exit the theaters. To learn more about this potentially game-changing partnership, check out this video from Tuesday's broadcast of MarketFoolery.
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