Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that 113,000 jobs were added to the nation's economy in January, higher than the 74,000 jobs created in December but far lower than the 189,000 new jobs analysts were predicting. Additionally, though the jobless rate declined to 6.6%, many are attributing the weak labor force participation rate for this decline and not a truly healthy economy.
Despite the weak jobs number, the major indexes were higher across the board as of 1 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 105 points, or 0.68%, the S&P 500 was higher by 0.86%, and the Nasdaq climbed more than 1.27%.
Only seven of the 30 Dow components were in the red. The best performer was Boeing (NYSE:BA), which was up more than 3.3% following reports that Ethiopian Airlines appears likely to order 10 of Boeing's next-generatiom 777X aircraft. That order is estimated to be worth $3.8 billion at list price and would substantially increase Boeing's sales year to date for both the 777X aircraft and overall. As of yesterday, Boeing had in 2014 only sold one 787 Dreamliner, four 777Xs, and 33 737 regional airliners.
Speaking of travel, shares of a number of the large travel websites are shooting higher today. Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) stock is more than 12%, priceline.com (NASDAQ:BKNG) is up more than 3.5%, and TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) has climbed more than 10%. The moves come after Expedia this morning reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts estimates on both the top and bottom lines; the number of hotel room nights booked through the travel website increased by 25% compared to the year-ago quarter, while gross bookings increased by 21%. Lastly, investors received news that the company believes it will increase earnings in 2014 by 13%-16%, which is a rather healthy increase on a year-over-year basis.
That confidence about the future is what is likely pushing Expedia's competitors higher today on anticipation that they will also beat estimates and report solid earnings for the quarter.TripAdvisor is set to report on Feb. 11, followed by Priceline on Feb. 20. But investors need to remember that basing a buy decision on what another company is did essentially guessing and is not a very smart way to invest.
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