After Market: Investors Take a Break to Wait for the Jobs Report


Investors hit the "hold" button on the market's upward run Thursday after Wednesday's Dow record. But that's no reason for concern: It's fairly common that trading turns cautious ahead of a monthly jobs report, and April's is due out Friday morning.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 22 points, retreating from Wednesday's record high. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) was virtually flat, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 13 points.

The big tech stocks in the Dow had a rough day. IBM (IBM) fell 1½ percent, while Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) both lost about 1 percent.

But check out some of the Internet leaders: Facebook (FB), up 2 percent; Netflix (NFLX), up 4½ percent; LinkedIn (LNKD), up 5 percent; and TripAdvisor (TRIP), up 3½ percent.

Yelp (YELP) jumped 9½ percent as its quarterly loss narrowed from a year ago and the company upped its revenue outlook.

Other winners on the earnings scorecard:
  • MasterCard (MA) gained 1 percent after beating expectations. That helped lift rival Visa (V) by nearly 2 percent.
  • Weight Watchers (WTW) added some heft to its stock, up 20 percent. Net topped expectations and the company raised its outlook for the year.
  • And Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) soared 21 percent. In addition to building cute stuffed animals, it also builds investor profits. The stock has soared 170 percent over the past year.

On the downside:
  • ExxonMobil (XOM) fell one percent even though net topped expectations;
  • Kellogg (K) fell 2 percent on disappointing sales;
  • Avon (AVP) dropped 10 percent;
  • And telecom equipment maker JDS Uniphase (JDSU) slid 14 percent.

Elsewhere, DirecTV (DTV) gained 4 percent on reports it may get a buyout offer from AT&T (T). Over the past year, DirecTV is up 43 percent.

Allergan (AGN) rose 1½ percent as it seeks a white knight -– possibly Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) -– to fend off a hostile bid from Valeant (VRX).

General Motors (GM) and Toyota (TM) both added more than 1 percent on strong April sales, but Ford's (F) numbers fell short, and the stock lost 1½ percent. The company also confirmed that CEO Alan Mulally will step down this summer.

Finally, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) surged 59 percent on upbeat trial results of its treatment for pancreatic cancer.

What to Watch Friday:
  • The Labor Department reports employment data for April at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Commerce Department releases factory orders for March at 10 a.m.
These major companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A)(BRK-B)
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber (CPB)
  • Chevron (CVX)
  • CVS (CVS)
  • Estee Lauder (EL)
  • Newell Rubbermaid (NWL)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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