It's been a topsy-turvy week for the markets, but stocks are back on the rise today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has gained 137 points, or 0.91%, as of 2:20 p.m. EDT, with all but a few of its 30 component stocks in the green.
Labor market gains have boosted Wall Street today. U.S. payroll growth increased over the past year's average, adding 175,000 jobs in May. However, sequestration's impact forced the federal government to cut 14,000 workers in the month, and more jobs could be lost in the future as further cuts come down the line. That's not hurting stocks today, however. Let's check out which stocks are lighting up your end to the week.
Boeing flies high
Boeing (NYSE:BA) ranks among today's top Dow stocks, gaining 2% in its latest 2013 surge. The aerospace giant has cleared the turbulence of its 787 aircraft's grounding. Singapore Airlines made a Dreamliner purchase last month after the aircraft's battery problems were resolved. Competitor Airbus is still right on Boeing's heels, however: The European rival is looking to use its planned A350 aircraft to fight Boeing's control of the long-haul airline market. Still, with the 787 now free to fly and start clearing its huge order backlog, Boeing's stock looks ready to keep soaring throughout the year.
The biggest winner so far today, has been Travelers (NYSE:TRV), which has jumped 2.1% despite a potentially bumpy hurricane season to come that could weigh on the company's performance. While warnings of hurricanes to come could push some to purchase property and risk insurance in the days ahead, forecasts that up to five powerful hurricanes could form in the Atlantic Ocean this year may foretell a costly season for this insurer.
Down at the bottom of the Dow, telecom stocks AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) have struggled to make gains today. They're indirect victims of yesterday's news bombshell, when British newspaper The Guardian reported that the U.S. National Security Agency had been mining data from mobile-phone records, including those of Verizon customers. A court order released by the paper showed the company was told to release its records for intelligence purposes, and while only select numerical data was mined, it's still a shocking and potentially damaging release for the company.
Should Verizon or AT&T investors -- or any telecom investors, really -- be concerned about this revelation? While the release's political impact can't be understated, it shouldn't affect your investing decisions. Verizon and AT&T are corporations first and foremost. Regardless of this situation, the performance of their shares depends on how they advance their businesses. Considering that they're the top two providers in the U.S. wireless industry, both AT&T and Verizon are still relatively safe. AT&T projects a strong improvement in customer growth in the second quarter after a relatively lackluster first quarter, and Verizon has widened its lead on its rival somewhat. Both stocks should get past this PR mishap without incident. As with all stocks, keep your eye on the long term.