Hertz Drops, Quiksilver Pops, and the Dow Approaches 17,000

A strong jobs reports sent stocks higher once again today as major indexes pushed further into record territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) finished the day up 88 points, or 0.5%, to close at 16,924, while the S&P 500 also added on 0.5% to end the session 1,949. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, gained 0.6%.

The Department of Labor reported numbers essentially in line with expectations in the always-anticipated monthly jobs report, saying 217,000 payroll jobs were added in May, and that the unemployment rate held steady at 6.3%. Economists had predicted 220,000, and for the unemployment rate to move up to 6.4%. The report marked the first time since January 2000 that the country has seen four-straight months of 200,000-plus jobs growth, a sign that the labor market is finally making a return to full health after several years of weakness following the financial crisis. The number of long-term unemployed, which spiked because of the recession, remained essentially unchanged at 3.4 million during May, but has fallen by nearly 1 million in the last year. Average hourly earnings also improved by 0.2% last month after no change in April, showing that the improving labor market may be starting to bring up wage levels.

Turning to individual stocks, Hertz Global Holdings  (NYSE: HTZ  ) shares drove off a cliff today, finishing down 9% after the car-rental company said it would have to restate three years of financial reports due to accounting errors. Hertz also said in a filing that its first-quarter results are "likely to be below consensus, reflecting costs associated with the accounting review." The accounting errors relate to depreciation of non-fleet assets, its allowance for doubtful accounts in Brazil, and other items. We should learn more when the company reports earnings on Monday. The car-rental industry also got a jolt from Uber, which was valued at $17 billion, in its latest round of fundraising today. The app-driven ride service is more of a substitute for cabs than car rentals, but that price tag makes it more valuable than even Hertz, the industry leader, which carries a market cap of $12 billion. As Uber grows, it could present more of a threat to traditional players like Hertz.

Moving higher today was Quiksilver,  (NYSE: ZQK  ) , which finished up 10% on insider buying. Shares of the surf-inspired apparel company had fallen 40% earlier this week on an unseemly earnings report, but today, the CEO and CFO both purchased 100,000 shares in the company, a sign of faith as the company struggles with falling sales and widening losses with competition increasing. UBS also released a note saying that Quiksilver remains an attractive acquisition target for V.F. Corp, the parent of clothing companies like Timberland and North Face, which is known for buying big-name brands. With its low price tag and collection of well-known brands including Roxy and DC, a buyout may be the best hope for Quiksilver investors at this point.

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Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

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Related Tickers

9/2/2015 4:36 PM
^DJI $16351.38 Up +293.03 +1.82%
HTZ $17.89 Up +0.57 +3.29%
Hertz Global Holdi… CAPS Rating: ***
ZQK $0.45 Up +0.03 +7.89%
Quiksilver, Inc. CAPS Rating: *