Monthly nonfarm payroll numbers came out today, and Wall Street found little to applaud about March's labor market. Nonfarm payrolls were expected to increase by at least 200,000 last month, but came in just short at 192,000. Poor numbers like today's will get harder and harder to blame on weather as Mother Nature finally gives us a reprieve from a harsh winter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) fell 159 points, or 1%, to end at 16,412.
Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , which shed 1.5% on Friday, wasn't the only blue-chip stock to lose ground today. Twenty-six of 30 Dow stocks finished in the red, as markets pulled back from a strong showing earlier in the week. This weekend should be big for Disney, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier fully launches in the U.S. today. While early box office numbers from abroad were weaker than both Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, one might expect that Captain America, by the very virtue of the name, is poised for a better showing domestically.
One of the rare advancers of the day, Potbelly (NASDAQ: PBPB ) shares jumped 4.8% Friday. The stock benefited from an analyst upgrade, as research firm William Blair bestowed upon the stock an outperform rating, an improvement from its prior rating of market perform. Shares of the sandwich shop, which went public in October, have slumped 30% this year, and William Blair analysts think this sell-off is unwarranted. Fast casual is all the rage right now, and I tend to be weary of a newly public company like Potbelly capitalizing on current fads.
Lastly, shares of Lionbridge Technologies (NASDAQ: LIOX ) slumped 7.2% today, as the broad-market sell-off was too much for the $350 million language services company. Lionbridge's offering is most certainly not a fad: people and businesses are going to need translation services as long as the world remains interconnected. I worry with Lionbridge's stock, however, that the small-cap company isn't growing quickly enough -- sales advanced by less than 7% annually between 2009 and 2013 -- to justify its 31 P/E price tag.
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