This Stock Is Leading the Dow Up Today

The Dow is relatively unchanged today following some mixed U.S. economic reports. At the midway point of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 15 points, or 0.11%, to 13,406. The S&P 500 is up 0.27% to 1,463.

There were four U.S. economic releases this morning:

Report

Period

Actual

Previous

Nonfarm payrolls

December

155,000

161,000

Unemployment rate

December

7.8%

7.8%

ISM nonmanufacturing index

December

56.1%

54.7%

Factory orders

November

0%

0.8%

Source: Marketwatch U.S. Economic Calendar.


This morning the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. added 155,000 jobs in December. That's slightly less than last month's 161,000 and below analyst expectations of 160,000 but right in line with the yearly average of 155,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8%. For the unemployment rate to decline substantially, the economy will have to add at least 200,000 to 250,000 jobs per month.

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls data by YCharts.

Next up, the Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index rose from 54.7 to 56.1. A reading of more than 50 indicates economic expansion. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged.

Lastly, the Department of Commerce reported that factory orders were unchanged in November, down from 0.8% growth in October and below analyst expectations of 0.3% growth. While orders were fewer than expected, if the transportation sector were excluded -- particularly military and commercial aircraft -- then orders rose 2%.

Given the mixed economic reports, it's no surprise that the market is relatively unchanged.

Today's Dow Leader
Disney is leading the Dow today, up 1.8% to $52.14. There's no specific news driving the stock today. Disney was the third-best Dow stock of 2012, up 32.8% over the course of the year. The stock crushed 2012 on account of its outperforming ESPN division, the success of the Avengers movie, and all-around good results.

It's easy to forget that Walt Disney is more than just the House of the Mouse. True, Disney amusement parks around the world hosted more than 121 million guests in 2011. But from its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, Disney appeals to many investors with its diversity. The Motley Fool's new premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch, as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. We're also providing a full year of regular analyst updates as news develops, so don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

The article This Stock Is Leading the Dow Up Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

 Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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