May's jobs report was released this morning, and although nonfarm payroll employment numbers increased to 175,000, the unemployment rate also increased from 7.5% to 7.6%. However, the result beat analyst estimates for an additional 167,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate only rose as a result of more people entering the labor market.
The positive report has sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) higher by 169 points, or 1.13%, as of 12:55 p.m. EDT, putting the blue-chip index well above the 15,000 level again. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.95%, while the Nasdaq has risen 1.05%. But even when everything seems to be going well, we can usually find a few sour apples.
A few Dow losers
Shares of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) are flipping back and forth from positive to negative today after Piper Jaffray downgraded the stock from "neutral" to "underweight." The analyst noted that a weak PC industry will put further pressure on the company's quarterly results and stock price moving forward.
Both the Dow's telecom giants, AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are also moving lower today. AT&T is down 0.8%, while Verizon is lower by 0.2%. Yesterday Verizon was thrust into the spotlight by a Guardian report saying that Verizon has been giving the National Security Association information about every phone call made on a Verizon device. The first reports didn't mention any of the other major U.S. carriers, but today it was confirmed that AT&T and Sprint were also part of the NSA program. Reports indicate that the NSA wasn't listening to conversations, but recording information including the numbers dialed, the duration of the calls, and when and where the calls were made.
News that these three companies were involved in NSA data-mining may send some of their customers running to smaller telecom companies around the country or even outside U.S. borders, but I don't foresee a mass exodus sufficient to materially hurt any of these giant telecoms.
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