U.S. stocks rise as ECB cuts interest rate, jobless claims fall

Jobs Report

A report tomorrow is projected to show U.S. unemployment stayed at 7.6% in April, while payrolls rose 145,000, compared with an increase of 88,000 the prior month, according to the median estimates of economists in a Bloomberg survey.

“The key thing that you need to make people feel OK is to simply add jobs and ideally lower the unemployment rate,” Ethan Anderson, senior portfolio manager for Rehmann Financial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said by phone. His firm manages about $2 billion. “It’s looking like the goldilocks type of scenario where the economy grows, but not too fast for the Fed to stop helping, but not too slow to impede earnings growth.”

Earnings Season

Of the 381 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results so far, 73% exceeded analysts’ earnings predictions while 53% missed on sales, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Profit at S&P 500 companies rose 1.1% in the first three months of the year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Nine out of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 advanced today as technology, energy and industrial companies rose the most, climbing at least 1.2%.

The Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index added 1% and the Dow Jones Transportation Average increased 1.1%. An S&P gauge of homebuilders jumped 3.3%.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. energy company, gained 1.5% to $122.08. Caterpillar, the biggest maker of mining machinery, climbed 1.7% to $84.47.

Facebook advanced 5.7% to $28.98. First-quarter sales surged 38% to $1.46 billion, a sign that Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is making headway in a drive to make more money from mobile advertising. Profit excluding certain items was 12 cents a share, compared with an average analyst prediction of 13 cents.

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