By Donald H. Gold, Investor’s Business Daily
Stocks ended mixed Friday as the morning’s data-driven turmoil yielded to quiet, end-of-week afternoon trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 rose 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. But the Nasdaq, weighed by a wobbly Apple (AAPL), fell 0.4%. Volume declined on both major exchanges, according to preliminary data.
The jobs report held mostly good news: Nonfarm payrolls climbed 143,000 in November. That was 5,000 more jobs than in October and better than consensus expectations for 80,000 new hires. October numbers were revised sharply lower.
Private-sector nonfarm employers added 147,000 jobs for the month, well above forecasts for 95,000. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.7% vs. analyst expectations for an increase to 8%.
But the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index dropped to 74.5, well below last month’s 82.7 reading and the consensus forecast of 83.
Stratasys (SSYS) rose 2% in average trade as it extended its rebound efforts. A recent slide erased gains from a breakout past a 69.18 buy point, but it’s now back to 5% past that trigger. BB&T Capital Markets started coverage of the 3D printer maker with a buy rating. Stratasys makes machines that can make custom parts from three-dimensional computer models.
Lamar Advertising (LAMR) rallied 3%, regained its 50-day line in average trade and snapped a three-week losing streak. The nation’s biggest advertising firm lost money in 2009 and 2010, but turned a profit of 9 cents a share last year. Analysts see profit rising to 16 cents a share this year and 58 cents a share in 2013. Lamar recently wrapped up its buyout of NextMedia Outdoor for about $145 million.
Trimble Navigation (TRMB) turned higher and rose 1% to an all-time high. It’s now 4% past a 54.99 buy point from a cup base within a larger pattern cleared Nov. 6. Trimble makes GPS devices for the construction, engineering and agriculture markets. The company’s earnings grew 17% to 36% in the latest four quarters. Sales climbed 21% to 35% over the same period, but have been slowing.
DSW (DSW) trimmed an earlier 4% loss to 2% in below-average volume. The stock has slipped 3% from its 69.25 buy point from a cup base. On Tuesday, DSW hit an all-time high after William Blair started coverage with an outperform rating and private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners disclosed a larger stake in the retailer.