Dow Hits 15,000 on Positive Labor-Market Data

It wasn't long ago that investors and analysts were all watching and waiting for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) to hit the 14,000 mark. And here we've reached another milestone: The index topped the 15,000 mark just an hour into trading. With the much-anticipated employment report delivering good news to the market, there's no telling how high the index could climb today.

Four-year low
That refers, of course, to the newly released unemployment rate of 7.5%. With 165,000 new jobs created in April and revisions made to prior months' figures by the Department of Labor, the jobs market is looking better than it has in a long while. Beating the expectations of analysts and economists, the influx of new jobs shows that federal budget cuts and overall economic malaise haven't negatively impacted job-creation, as many had expected.

The newest jobs data reinforces the growing sense that the recovery is at least continuing in the right direction. Earlier in the week, the ADP private-sector employment report caused some concerns, showing that small businesses were reluctant to add to their workforce in the current economic conditions. But yesterday's jobless-claims report and Challenger job cuts report both trended toward the same results we're seeing today. Both reported drops in their respective data, with new jobless claims falling to a five-year low and the Challenger report falling to pre-recession levels.

27 for 30
As of 11:15 a.m. EDT, all but three of the Dow's component stocks are in positive territory.

Financials are getting a much-needed bump this morning after growing support for new legislation seemed to weigh them down in the past few days of trading. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) is up 1%. The bank falls into a category within the legislation that would require it to hold 15% of its assets in capital reserves -- a hefty amount, considering that the current regulations require 7%, with an additional 2.5% required if the bank is deemed to be growing too large.

Outside the Dow, insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI  ) is up 11.3% after settling a legal case with lender Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC  ) over two mortgage-backed securities transactions. MBIA alleged that Flagstar misrepresented the securities, resulting in the insurer's payout of $165 million on the policies. Flagstar has agreed to pay MBIA $110 million to settle the case. This legal dispute is similar to the current battle between MBIA and Bank of America. The insurer recently lost its bid for a pretrial ruling on the case, driving the stock lower.

Bank of America's stock doubled in 2012. Is there more yet to come? With significant challenges still ahead, it's critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool's premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu and Matt Koppenheffer lift the veil on the bank's operations, detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

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: 2406953, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/1/2016 3:27:55 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 6 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
S&P 500 2,168.27 17.14 0.80%
NASD 5,312.00 42.85 0.81%

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

9/30/2016 5:01 PM
^DJI $18308.15 Up +164.70 +0.91%
BAC $15.65 Up +0.49 +3.23%
Bank of America CAPS Rating: ****
FBC $27.75 Up +0.27 +0.98%
Flagstar Bancorp CAPS Rating: ****
MBI $7.79 Up +0.26 +3.45%
MBIA CAPS Rating: ***