Payroll processing company ADP today reported that the private sector added 191,000 jobs in March. While that was a slight miss from the 193,000 that economists expected the figure was much better than the revised 153,000 reported for February. The positive jobs data is helping push stocks higher this afternoon: as of 12:45 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 17 points, or 0.1%, the S&P 500 had risen 0.23%, and the Nasdaq jumped up 0.13%.
Dow member Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is one of the big winners of the day, as shares were up 1.3%. The move comes after UBS named the home improvement store one of the top five retailers to buy at this time. Furthermore, recent housing data indicates that home prices in a number of states hit all-time highs in February. This is an indication that the majority of homeowners in those locations are no longer underwater on their residence. That is a great sign for Home Depot, because customers who are not underwater spend substantially more on their home than those who are upside down. With few headwinds facing the company, the stock looks ready to ride the spring housing season higher.
Outside the Dow, shares of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) have climbed higher by more than 4.5%. The move comes following the announcement that Tesla has appealed the New Jersey regulation that bans the company from selling its vehicles directly to the consumer. The appeal was filed with the New Jersey Superior Court. While the case likely will not be heard for some time, it could be a big win for Tesla in New Jersey and across the U.S. if the court overrules the rule. This will be a long, hard-fought battle, but one that investors should keep an eye on.
Another big winner outside the Dow today is Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), as shares are up more than 4% after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the company's newest robotic platform, the da Vinci Xi. The new robot is expected to increase the types of surgeries the device will be able to perform, which would make hospitals more likely to buy one. Additionally, the new device should dramatically improve Intuitive's razor and blade business model since more operations will be performed. Shares of Intuitive has been down over the past year, but this new catalysts should help the stock work its way back and reward those investors who stuck around.