If you like rollercoasters, you've probably loved the past month on the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has climbed to a new peak, fallen off a cliff, gone round and round, and finished just about where it started.
Today the ride continued, with the Dow and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) rising in early trading, dropping sharply around noon, and finally climbing back to small gains. As of 3:25 EDT the Dow has gained 0.18%, while the S&P 500 is up 0.43%.
Investors are already speculating about tomorrow's unemployment numbers from the Department of Labor. Economists expect 164,000 jobs to have been added in May, pegging the unemployment rate at 7.5% -- decent but not spectacular numbers.
Despite the many negative headlines, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) stock is leading the Dow today, climbing 3.4%. The Guardian broke a story about an NSA order requiring the company to turn over information about both international and domestic telephone calls. This may seem to reflect poorly on Verizon, but the company had little choice but to turn over information, and other telecom companies are likely doing the same.
What long-term investors should focus on is Verizon's hefty 4.2% dividend yield and the company's strength in the lucrative mobile market. Verizon isn't going anywhere ,and even a few negative headlines won't hold back the stock in the long term.
Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is down the most on the Dow today, falling 1.3%. Oil is actually up 1.1% today, but the real challenge for big oil is the rising cost of oil extraction and falling demand in developed markets. In the U.S., daily oil demand is down 10.2% since 2007, and that's a concerning development for energy investors. Explorers are also looking for oil in difficult drilling locations like ultra-deep water and shale here in the U.S. These two issues will be important for current and prospective energy-sector investors to follow.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.