Following yesterday's lower-than-expected jobless-claims report and the announcement that the European Central Bank will hold interest rates at 0.5%, the markets were primed for a big run-up. Today's jobs report, where analysts had expected to see 145,000 new jobs created in April, came in better than expected at 165,000 additions, spurred the market's charge.
As of 12:50 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is up 163 points, or 1.1%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have gained 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively. The Dow is now just a few points shy of the 15,000-point mark, while the S&P 500 has easily surpassed the milestone of 1,600. But even on a day when the markets are setting new records, we can still find a few individual companies moving lower.
Communications giant AT&T (NYSE: T ) is down 0.5% today. The telecommunication industry is currently going through a number of changes, with T-Mobile and MetroPCS merging, Sprint possibly merging with either DISH Network or Japan's SoftBank, and former venture capitalist Tom Wheeler assuming the role of FCC chairman. Investors will likely grow nervous about what changes, if any, Wheeler may make to the industry's regulations. Uncertainty breeds fear in the markets, and fear turns the markets red.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) are down 0.5% as well, thanks to the announcement that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating allegations that the bank manipulated the energy markets in California and Michigan. This is just another in a recent string of smudges on the reputation of the bank and it's CEO, Jamie Dimon, starting with the London Whale incident. Investors may be starting to fear that Jamie Dimon has lost control of the ship, and his once impeccable public image is starting to tarnish.
Shares of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) are the biggest loser on the Dow today, down 1%. Over the past five days, shares are down 3.8%, mainly due to the poor quarterly results the company announced on Tuesday. For the first quarter, revenue fell 9% from the same period last year, while adjusted income fell 10%. The company saw a 21% decline in its primary-care business unit, while its oncology unit increased by 29%. The problem is that the 21% decline was actually an $859 million drop, while the 29% increase only amounted to an additional $84 million.
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