Apple rallies after results; Dow set for 8th straight weekly gain
U.S. stocks were trading flat Friday morning, with the Dow retreating from its 56th all-time high in 2017 as strong results at Apple were offset by a cooler-than-expected October jobs report.
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What are stocks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 23,512, after hitting an intraday record of 23,552.74 in early trading. The S&P 500 was little changed to 2,579, a gain of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 10 points, or 0.1%, at 6,724. All three benchmarks were trading within a stone's throw of all-time highs.
For the week, the Dow is up 0.4%, as is the Nasdaq. The S&P is down 0.1%.
The Dow is set for its eighth straight weekly gain, its longest such streak since November 2013. If the S&P ends in positive territory for the week, it will also have risen for eight straight weeks, also its longest since 2013. The Nasdaq is poised for its sixth positive week in a row, matching a streak that ended in early March.
What's driving the market?
The October payroll report showed 261,000 jobs added last month, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-x000-jobs-in-october-unemployment-x-2017-11-03)well below the 325,000 that had been expected. However, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.1% from 4.2%, the September report was raised from a loss to a gain, and the August payroll tally was also lifted. The October report suggests that there are still lingering effects from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which had muddled September's labor-market results.
See:U.S. adds 261,000 jobs in October in hurricane-inflated gain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-261000-jobs-in-october-in-hurricane-inflated-gain-2017-11-03)
The health of the U.S. labor market is one of the key measures for the Fed in determining the path for interest rates. Traders are pricing in a more than 98% probability of a rate increase next month, according to the CME Group data.
Read:Get ready for a huge jump in October payrolls (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/get-ready-for-a-huge-jump-in-october-payrolls-2017-11-02)
Thursday saw President Donald Trump nominate Fed Gov. Jerome Powell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/text-of-powells-statement-on-being-named-fed-chairman-nominee-2017-11-02) as the next head of the U.S. central bank. Separately, the Bank of England raised interest rates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-key-carney-quotes-after-boe-hikes-rates-for-first-time-in-a-decade-2017-11-02) for the first time in a decade. The House of Representatives also unveiled a highly anticipated tax-cut bill, which will be voted on in coming weeks.
Read:Here's a breakdown of how the new House tax bill impacts your taxes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-a-breakdown-of-how-the-new-house-tax-bill-impacts-your-taxes-2017-11-02)
What are strategists saying?
"The report was obviously still distorted by the hurricanes, though the net gain in the month was pretty solid. There was a good amount of jobs growth, a notable decline again in the unemployment rate, all of which sends the clear message that the labor market is tight," said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management. "Ultimately there wasn't a big enough surprise to change market direction, especially for the companies that reported."
The dollar rose against all other major currencies, with the ICE Dollar Index up 0.1% at 94.79.
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares of Apple Inc.(AAPL) climbed 2.2%, closing in on a $900 billion valuation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-has-900-billion-valuation-in-sight-as-earnings-allay-iphone-fears-2017-11-02). The gain came after the iPhone maker late Thursday reported earnings that easily beat estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-has-900-billion-valuation-in-sight-as-earnings-allay-iphone-fears-2017-11-02). The stock is the biggest company in the market, and as such has an outsize weight on all three major indexes.
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.(VRX.T) jumped 2.9% after the drugmaker late Thursday said the Food and Drug Administration has approved the company's Vyzulta drug.
Pandora Media Inc.(P) shares slumped 23% after the music-streaming company late Thursday said its loss widened in the third quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pandora-shares-fall-after-revenue-miss-2017-11-02). The stock hit an all-time low.
Starbucks Corp.(SBUX) shares rose 2.2% after the coffee chain's sales number out late Thursday missed Wall Street forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/starbucks-shares-down-5-after-revenue-miss-company-to-sell-tazo-brand-2017-11-02), though it also agreed to sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/unilevers-tazo-deal-targets-upscale-tea-drinkers-2017-11-02).
Sotheby's(BID) fell 0.4% after reporting its quarterly results.
What else is in focus?
The Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index rose more than expected to come in at 60.1%, the strongest reading since August 2005 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ism-services-index-improves-to-12-year-high-in-october-2017-11-03). Separately, factory orders rose 1.4% in September, while the IHS Markit U.S. services index stayed at 55.3 in October.
See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)
At noon Eastern, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is scheduled to give a speech on monetary policy and the 2018 outlook at a Women in Housing and Finance luncheon in Washington, D.C.
What are other markets doing?
Oil prices continued higher, with the U.S. benchmark trading at a more-than-two-year high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-rally-takes-prices-to-highest-since-july-2015-2017-11-03).
Metals were mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-eases-but-clings-to-weekly-gain-ahead-of-jobs-report-2017-11-03), and gold was flat at $1,278.50 an ounce.
Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australia-stocks-near-10-year-high-as-asia-pacific-markers-gain-2017-11-02), with Japan's exchanges closed for the Culture Day holiday. Stocks in Europe rose (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-look-for-weekly-win-as-german-uk-shares-aim-for-records-2017-11-03), setting the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index on track for at 0.5% weekly gain.
Bitcoin is up 5.1% at $7,388.52 for a fresh all-time high. The cryptocurrency broke above $7,300 Thursday.
See:Bitcoin may be staging the biggest challenge yet to gold and silver (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-may-be-staging-the-biggest-challenge-yet-to-gold-and-silver-2017-11-02)
Also read:Bitcoin is the 'very definition of a bubble': Credit Suisse CEO (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-is-the-very-definition-of-a-bubble-credit-suisse-ceo-2017-11-02)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 03, 2017 10:38 ET (14:38 GMT)