The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

November 1, 2012

Stock market gets a boost from good jobs news

— Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street Thursday after a pair of encouraging reports on employment.

Payroll provider ADP said U.S. businesses added 158,000 jobs in October, and the Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to 363,000 last week. That's a level that suggests employers are starting to hire workers again.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72 points to 13,168 shortly after the opening bell.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points to 1,418 and the Nasdaq composite rose 14 points to 2,991.

Retailers are posting sales figures for October as well on Thursday, as are automakers.

Target posted a 2.4 percent rise in same-store revenue, but that fell short of the 3.3 percent hike that industry analysts were looking for. Target's stock fell 69 cents to $63.06.

Chrysler had its best October in five years as sales for the month rose 10 percent even though Superstorm Sandy washed out three days of business on the East Coast.

Shares of General Motors surged Wednesday after the company reported third-quarter earnings that were far better than Wall Street expected.

There will be a rush of earnings reports Thursday with so many postponed by the storm.

Exxon Mobil beat Wall Street expectations for profit and revenue, though production is falling. Oil and gas production fell 7.5 percent and lower prices also cut into profit. The stock fell 61 cents to $90.56.

Kellogg Co. says its net income edged up in the third quarter, as the breakfast giant benefited from its acquisition of Pringles chips earlier this year. The stock rose 44 cents to $52.76.

Pfizer's third-quarter profit fell 14 percent on plunging sales, mainly due to U.S. generic competition to cholesterol fighter Lipitor, long the world's top-selling drug. The stock fell 34 cents to $24.53.

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