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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Stocks Gain on Job Creation Report

Stocks ended higher on Friday, on the strength of a positive job creation report and a sharp drop in oil prices below $60.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 146.85 points, or 1.4 percent, to end at 10,449.14. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 13.99 points, or 1.2 percent, to finish at 1,211.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 37.22 points, or 1.8 percent, to close at 2,112.88.


Hiring around the country picked up in June with employers adding 146,000 jobs, helping to push the unemployment rate down to 5 percent, the lowest in nearly four years. The modest payroll gain of 146,000 jobs in June was up from 104,000 net jobs added in May, the Labor Department said. Economists were forecasting an increase of around 195,000 jobs for the month.


And oil prices fell below $60 a barrel on Friday, reversing course late in the day as traders booked profits following a rally based on the fear of hurricane-related supply disruptions. Light sweet crude for August delivery dropped by $1.10 to settle at $59.63 per barrel.


Among local movers, shares of WPT Enterprises Inc. gained 49.3 percent to $26.50 after the West Hollywood-based creator and owner of the World Poker Tour television show received an unsolicited cash bid of $700 million from professional poker player Doyle Brunson and a team of unidentified financial backers. WPT Chief Executive Steven Lipscomb said he would share the offer with the board of directors.


Magnetek Inc. rose 12.8 percent to $2.83 after the L.A.-based digital power-electronic products supplier said it now expects a near-breakeven performance from its continuing operations in the fourth quarter on revenue of between $57 million and $58 million. The average analyst estimate is for a loss of a penny a share in the June period on revenue of $60.7 million.


And shares of Cathay General Bancorp and East West Bancorp Inc. moved higher on stock rating upgrades from Sanders Morris Harris analyst Campbell K. Chaney. Cathay rose 5.7 percent to $35.48 after Chaney bumped up its rating to “buy” from “hold” and East West rose 2.2 percent to $37.44 on its move to “strong buy” from “buy.”

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