Coming into this morning's jobs report, it seemed as though the stock market was in a no-win situation. If the employment picture came in too bleak, it would lead investors to conclude that all the efforts to stimulate the economy had failed. If jobs came in too strong, then investors would fear that the Federal Reserve would have to withdraw its stimulus measures more quickly than expected, and given that those fears have already sent the bond market reeling, the consequences of further concerns seemed even direr. In the end, though, employment served up a just-right result, and that pulled the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) up 208 points, with broader market measures up about 1.3% as well.
In general, the rally was broad-based, without any huge standouts. However, both Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Disney (NYSE: DIS ) managed almost to rise by almost double the Dow's gain on a percentage basis. Boeing's jump appeared to be a follow-through move based on positive news from earlier in the week on aircraft orders and government contract wins, with Singapore Airlines having decided today to choose Rolls-Royce to supply the engines for 50 Dreamliner aircraft, including the 30 787-10X next-generation Dreamliner aircraft that Singapore ordered from Boeing recently. The moves underscore the huge amounts of activity in the aerospace industry as airlines try to modernize and become more efficient amid unusually high levels of profitability.
Disney's rise, meanwhile, seems like a logical play on the health of the American consumer. As the jobs picture improves, more potential customers should be able to afford Disney's offerings, even after recent price hikes at its landmark theme parks. With its television media properties and film division running smoothly, it's hard to find fault with any of Disney's prospects over the long run.
Finally, beyond the Dow, Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ: PPC ) soared 22% on apparent speculation that the poultry giant might be next on the chopping block as a target for a big acquisition. The proposed buyout of pork producer Smithfield Foods (NYSE: SFD ) by a Chinese company was controversial in large part because of the geopolitical implications of international buyers purchasing U.S. food-industry assets, but business analysts have rightly looked instead at the implications for further consolidation in the industry. With no formal announcement from Pilgrim's Pride, today's move could invite scrutiny from the SEC and other regulators should any sort of definitive buyout bid materialize in the days to come.
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