While a loss of 95,000 jobs normally might be expected to hurt stocks, the market’s desire for cheap money trumped concerns about the slow economy. We thought it was almost as if the market was cheering for a bad report to try to solidify that the Fed would engage in quantitative easing.
A construction and farm machinery sector index rose 2.6% on the belief US grain farmers will use some of their profits from higher crop prices to buy new tractors and harvesting equipment. Deere & Co. shares climbed 4.8% to $75.35 and Agco Corp. jumped 3.6% to $40.63.
Stocks have rallied in recent weeks on expectations of further government stimulus, but earnings season will take centre stage this week. Corporate results and guidance could provide confirmation for the gains or suggest investors were blindly chasing performance.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 57.90 points, or 0.53%, to close at 11,006.48. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 7.09 points, or 0.61%, to 1,165.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 18.24 points, or 0.77%, to 2,401.91. It was the first time the Dow closed above 11,000 since May 3.
For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 each rose 1.6%, while the Nasdaq gained 1.3%. Alcoa marked the unofficial start to earnings season, rising 5.7% to $12.89 a day after its results beat estimates.
Data showed the economy shed jobs in September for a fourth straight month as private hiring slowed.
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