Today's rally was sponsored by the Labor Department. After announcing additional payroll growth in December, the markets applauded the news, which saw 155,000 more jobs added last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose 43 points, or 0.33%, to close at 13,435.
While the jobs report was definitely good news, long-term investors may want to take it with a grain of salt. Prominent financial blogger Barry Riholtz pointed out in 2011 that monthly figures like these are often revised later, and are less meaningful than overall trends. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) investors may have caught on to this long-term view and, cheering a (slow) revival in the labor market, Wall Street bid shares of the aluminum giant 2% higher today. Alcoa will kick off the earnings season this Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) languished near the bottom of the Dow's performers today with fellow underachiever Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Sales of tablets powered by Microsoft software reportedly fell this holiday season, and Intel -- a longtime chip provider for Microsoft products -- also suffered as a result. Both companies will have major issues if they continue struggling in the mobile device market from the PC world of the past.
Elsewhere, shares of national grocer SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU) went bonkers today, trading almost 20% higher, before settling with more modest 13% gains. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP has been in talks with Supervalu to buy parts of the company -- mainly its Albertsons units -- outright, while proposing to merely take stakes in other parts of the business.
Research in Motion (NYSE:BB) the maker of the once-dominant BlackBerry device, added more than 4% today. Shares in the company, which has a new BlackBerry model, the BlackBerry 10, coming out at the end of January, have enjoyed an enormous run-up from October lows, rising more than 90% since then. This week also saw RIM expand its patent agreement with InterDigital Communications (NASDAQ:IDCC), avoiding potentially costly lawsuits that have plagued some of its competitors.