The Reason Stocks Are Surging Today

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Blue-chip stocks are broadly higher today after government statistics showed that the unemployment situation is improving faster than expected. With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up by 86 points, or 0.58%.

This morning, the Labor Department released its weekly estimate of jobless claims -- click here to see the official press release. According to the report, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to a near five-year low. The figure declined by 16,000, to a seasonally adjusted 339,000. Meanwhile, economists surveyed by had expected the figure to come in at 351,000.

According to an economist quoted by The Wall Street Journal, "The drop in claims reinforces our view that the sudden weakening in the data in March was more technical than fundamental, likely due in part at least to the swing in the weather to colder-than-usual from milder-than-usual earlier."

Earnings season is also exerting its influence on the market today, as a number of bellwether companies reported their financial results from the first three months of the year. The industrial conglomerate 3M (NYSE: MMM  ) came in below expectations, with earnings per share of $1.61, versus the consensus estimate of $1.65. On top of this, the company lowered its forward guidance blaming a "stronger U.S. dollar and softer demand in some end markets." Share of 3M are down by 2.7% at the time of writing.

The oil giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) is also seeing its shares fall despite beating bottom-line estimates. For the quarter, Exxon earned $2.12 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $2.05 per share. Investors' discontent, in turn, is stemming from the company's falling revenue. In the same period last year, the company reported $124 billion in total revenue and other income. This year, it reported only $108 billion.

And finally, shares of UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) are headed higher on the heels of its better-than-expected first-quarter performance. The shipping giant notched a 9% improvement in its operating profit on a year-over-year basis, attributing the gain to increased volume from e-commerce sales -- click here for the earnings release (link opens PDF). Unlike 3M, moreover, UPS reaffirmed its guidance for the remainder of the year. According to its chief financial officer, "Although macro uncertainty remains, we are reaffirming our 2013 guidance for full year adjusted diluted earnings per share to be within a range of $4.80 to $5.06."

Speaking of e-commerce, is scheduled to report its own results after the closing bell today. The consensus estimate on its earnings is for $0.28 per share, roughly in line with last year.

Everyone knows Amazon is the king of the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried it's the company's share price that will get knocked down instead of competitors'. The Motley Fool's premium report will tell you what's driving the company's growth, and fill you in on reasons to buy and reasons to sell Amazon. The report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2387712, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 3:03:54 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,094.83 -166.62 -0.91%
S&P 500 2,146.10 -18.59 -0.86%
NASD 5,257.49 -48.26 -0.91%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/26/2016 4:35 PM
^DJI $18094.83 Down -166.62 -0.91%
MMM $175.95 Down -1.44 -0.81%
3M CAPS Rating: ****
UPS $108.84 Down -0.37 -0.34%
United Parcel Serv… CAPS Rating: *****
XOM $83.06 Down -0.39 -0.47%
ExxonMobil CAPS Rating: ****