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Stock Market Today: Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Banks Drive Ahead On Data As Trump Takes Back Seat | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

U.S. stock indexes rode surprisingly strong payroll data to solid gains midday Friday, as the bullish news elbowed the Trump tariff issue out of the way. Meanwhile, Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL), two widely held stocks, were on track for their third weekly gain in a row.


The Nasdaq climbed 1.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.1% each.

The small cap Russell 2000, which so far this year is trailing the Nasdaq but matching the S&P 500, gripped a 0.9% gain at midday.

Volume in the stock market today was higher on both major exchanges, compared to the same time Thursday.

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On Thursday, President Trump’s afternoon meeting on tariffs hung over the market but eventually led to a 15-minute rally into the close. Gains were restrained, suggesting the tariff flap isn’t settled. The reaction of other nations is not yet clear.

Goldilocks Economy

Still, those worries faded to the background Friday morning on the shockingly strong payroll data. The Street estimated payroll data would come in at 205,000 in February, according to Econoday. The figure rolled in at 313,000, which was 36% above the highest estimate in the range. Also, the January reading of 200,000 was revised upward to 239,000.

The workforce participation rate was pegged at 63% vs. the prior 62.7%. The increase from still low participation levels suggested that wage growth may not be an inflationary problem for a while.

Bulls might now detect a Goldilocks economy, growth that is neither too hot nor too cold to worry either the Street or the Federal Reserve.

Among IBD’s 197 industry groups, oil, chips and leisure scored nice gains. Toys and retail lagged.

Blue chips were mostly up with 10 of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average rising 1% or more. Intel scored a 2% gain and marked a new high. Intel’s weekly gain is shaping up at 2.5%. Apple popped 1%, turning modestly higher for the week.

Mexico Rail Angle

Railroad stock Kansas City Southern (KSU) surged 2% as it retook its 50-day line. In 2017, rail lines in Mexico accounted for 47% of Kansas City Southern’s revenue. On Thursday, Trump said he would exempt Mexico and Canada from steel and aluminum tariffs.

The Street expects Kansas City Southern to grow earnings 20% this year vs. the year-ago figure.

Bank Stocks

Money-center banks rose at midday with a handful of the stocks gapping up at the open, though volume was only moderately above average.

The gap ups included JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C). Volume ranged from average to 25% above average for the five stocks.


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