Markets were incredibly indecisive today. Despite tons of employment data, Syrian uncertainty and Rash Hashanah kept volume low.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.61 points, or 0.040 percent, to close at 14,937. The S&P 500 added two points, or 0.12 percent, to finish at 1,655. The Nasdaq rose 9.74 points, or 0.27 percent, to end the day at 3,659. The Russell 3000 gained 1.558 points, or 0.16 percent to close at 990.40. Employment Data Thursday
Starting with the non routine figures, productivity, rose 2.3 percent quarter over quarter; this is 0.7 percent better than Wall Street expected. Along with boosted productivity was no change in labor costs. Essentially, workers were 2.3 percent more productive for no pay increases, a bullish signal.
Both initial jobless claims and continuing claims came in better than expected. Initial jobless claims for the week ended August 31st were 323,000 and continuing claims for the week ended August 24th were 2.95 million.
ADP also released their job figures, indicating 176,000 jobs were added to the economy. This is four thousand less than the economics consensus.
Kaydon (NYSE:KDN) rose 22.98 percent to $35.54 after the company agreed to be acquired by SKF for $35.50 per share.
DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS) gained 11.24 percent to $2.77 as the sector as a whole moved up today.
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) gained, 3.55 percent to $10.66 after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Overweight.
Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN) tumbled 11.71 percent to $60.31 after the company reported downbeat fiscal second-quarter profit.
Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) were down 5.78 percent to $28.86, despite the company being held at a Neutral rating by Zacks. The drop could be attributed to general weakness in the gold sector on today's session.
Volume and Volatility
Syria, Rosh Hashanah, a four day week and Fed tapering uncertainty kept incredibly low on the day. Only 59 million shares of the SPDR S&P 500 index (NYSE:SPY) traded, compared to the ten day average of 120 million.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped 1.2 percent nearing the close to 15.69 percent. This comes after a sharp drop Wednesday.
Crude oil moved higher today and is nearing recent highs. WTI was up 1.04 percent nearing the equity market close to $108.34 while Brent rose 0.23 percent to $115.18. Gasoline futures dropped roughly a percent on the day to $283.55.
Precious metals took a bit of a tumble today with Gold futures down 1.45 percent nearing the close to $1,369.80. Silver futures gave up 0.62 percent to fall to $23.27.
In the grain complex, corn, wheat and cocoa were the big movers, down 1.81 percent, 0.93 percent, and up 2.84 percent, respectively.
Stopping two days of losses, the dollar traded up today. At last check, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was up 0.63 percent to $22.33.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was down 0.66 percent to $1.3120. Other big movers on the day include the USD/CHF couple with rose almost one percent and the USD/BRL, which fell 1.58 percent.
Treasury prices dropped on Thursday. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury ETF (NYSE:TLT) fell 1.43 percent to $102.54.
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