Markets closed up on Wall Street today:
▲ Dow +0.11 percent
▲ S&P +0.36 percent
▲ Nasdaq +0.60 percent
▲ Oil +0.87 percent
▲ Gold 0.92 percent
On the commodities front:
▲ Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $107.51 a barrel
▲ Gold (NYSE:GLD) climbing to $1,714.40 an ounce
▲ Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose 1.21 percent to settle at $34.24
Today’s markets were up because:
1) Jobs: The Labor Department’s monthly employment report showed the U.S. economy to have added 227,000 jobs in February. The national unemployment rate remained the same at 8.3 percent, but only because more people have entered and re-entered the job market as prospects, and consequently sentiment, improve.
Nearly a half-million people began looking for work last month, and most found jobs, according to the report, but those who did not were added to the list of the unemployed, which only includes those who are actively seeking employment.
2) CDS: Stocks trimmed early gains with news that credit default swaps — derivative contracts that investors use to insure against default — will be paid out on some Greek bonds. Fortunately the market for default insurance on Greek debt is relatively small, which means the payments are unlikely to disruptive to financial market. Ultimately the ruling was not enough to dampen the mood on Wall Street after Greece successfully restructured its debt, ensuring that it will qualify to receive a bailout needed to avoid default.
3) Companies: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters got a slap in the face when Starbucks announced plans to sell a single-service coffee machine of its own, a rival for GMCR’s Keurig, or K-Cup, machines, which currently dominate the market. Texas Instruments and Carnival shares fell after the two companies lowered revenue forecasts for the current quarter.
[Editor’s note: the above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]