1. ADP jobs report predicts strong March job gains
Interestingly, financial-services firms enjoyed their fastest rate of growth since last November, after the industry cut 10,000 jobs in the first couple months of 2014. The construction sector, though, helped lead the rebound, with 20,000 new jobs in March. Like the slingshot you used as a kid to terrorize neighbors and show off to the cute girl next door, there appears to have been pent-up job demand from the winter's economic hibernation.
The takeaway is that the ADP number is nice, but it ain't official. Wall Street uses the ADP figures as a preview for the real, big-time monthly jobs report that the Labor Department releases on the first Friday of a new month (aka this coming Friday). Given the rebound ADP has shown, investors will be expecting a similar improvement following February's mediocre numbers.
Wall Street gave the earnings report a B- after Apollo's revenues of $679.1 million were a 19% decline from last year. The main problem wasn't the "rigorous" acceptance rate, but the 17% drop in enrollment at the University of Phoenix, which added only 32,000 new students for a total of 250,000 (that might also hurt fraternity pledging numbers this semester).
What's worse is the subpoena notice that the University of Phoenix received just two weeks ago concerning its operations practices in the Mid-Atlantic region. Apparently some marketing, financial aid, and student retention practices bothered the Office of the Inspector General. Too bad for Apollo shareholders that no one could call on-campus public safety instead.
3. Goldman Sachs selling its stock exchange floor-trading unit
Computers have for years been increasingly replacing human traders. But before you get too nostalgic, keep in mind that IntercontinentalExchange Group, which bought the historic New York Stock Exchange in 2012, promised it would maintain people on the exchange floor, as they help facilitate trade orders.
- The International Trade Report tells us about American imports versus exports.
- Weekly Jobless Claims come in ahead of Friday's big monthly jobs report.
Jack Kramer and Nick Martell have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends ADP, Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs, and IntercontinentalExchange and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.