The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was having one of its best sessions of 2014 early on Thursday, rising more than 140 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was a notable outperformer, while other tech stocks, including Yelp (NYSE:YELP) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), were seeing big moves.
Jobs data comes in better than expected
The Department of Labor reported initial jobless claims of 331,000 for last week, less than the 335,000 economists had anticipated. Continuing jobless claims also came in short of expectations -- 2.964 million vs. 2.998 million.
Fewer American workers filing for unemployment should be seen as a positive sign for the U.S. economy, and this may have contributed to the Dow Jones' triple-digit rally on Thursday. Still, the weekly jobs numbers are but one piece of the larger labor market -- investors should look ahead to Friday for the official Labor Department nonfarm payroll report to get a better sense of the situation.
Intel defends its mobile chip strategy
Intel's 2.2% rally, meanwhile, may have been prompted by comments from CFO Stacy Smith, who told Barron's that the company's mobile chip strategy was being unfairly characterized by analysts. Earlier in the week, Intel shares fell after a Bernstein analyst argued that the company would have to heavily subsidize its mobile chips in order to encourage their adoption.
Smith argued that Intel is rapidly cutting chip costs, allowing it to offer the tech at increasingly lower prices. Moreover, Intel believes it's necessary to gain a foothold in the market, as it expects the number of mobile chip suppliers will eventually dwindle to just two companies.
Twitter plunges after earnings
Twitter is having a terrible morning, down more than 20%. Twitter's sell-off follows its earnings report Wednesday afternoon; although the microblogger exceeded analysts' expectations, there were some troubling trends evident in Twitter's report.
In particular, Twitter was not adding new users at the rate analysts expected. For such a high-flying company trading with a premium multiple, rapid growth is expected. Following the earnings report, most analysts following Twitter lowered their ratings or slashed their price targets.
Yelp surges to all-time high
Yelp's rally of more than 20% took shares up above $90, a new all-time-high. As with Twitter, Yelp's move follows its earnings report, but the company beat analyst expectations and boosted its guidance for the full-year above estimates.