Jobs Data Sends Stocks Soaring

A better-than-expected August jobs report was sending stocks soaring across the board Friday in advance of the Labor Day weekend.

The Labor Department reported Friday that non-farm payrolls rose 124,000 and the unemployment rate remained at 4.2 percent. The payroll jump was substantially lower than the 215,000 economists were expecting, relieving inflation fears and possibly making it less likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it next meets in October.

All the sector leaders were higher including America Online Inc. (AOL) up 4-7/8 to 96-1/8, CMGI Inc. (CMGI) gaining 3-3/4 to 83-7/8, Inc. (AMZN) up 1-15/16 to 62-1/8 and eBay Inc. (EBAY) up 6-11/16 to 128-1/8.

Also moving higher were Broadcom Corp. (BRCM), up 4-1/2 to 129-5/16, BroadVision (BVSN) climbing 5-11/16 to 105, Ariba (ARBA) gaining 6-5/8 to 137-5/8, CNET Inc. (CNET) up 4 to 39-7/16, DoubleClick Inc. (DCLK) climbing 3-3/4 to 97-1/4, Go2Net Inc. (GNET) up 3-1/4 to 66-1/2, Real Networks Inc. (RNWK) gained 5-5/8 to 85-3/4 and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) climbed 9-1/16 to 150-5/8.

The day wasn’t as good for Juniper Networks (JNPR) which had fallen 4-7/8 to 193-3/4. Shares fell earlier this week after the company announced plans for a secondary offering, just months after going public.

One of the day’s few losers was National Discount Broker Group Inc. (NDB), plunging 5-3/8 to 25-7/8. Late Thursday the company announced fiscal first-quarter earnings would come in below expectations. NDB expects revenues to come in about 4 percent below analysts’ forecasts of $55 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31. That means NDB’s earnings will range from a profit of 2 cents a share to a 1-cent loss. Analysts had forecast a 21-cent profit.

Elsewhere in the e-finance sector, E*Trade Group Inc. (EGRP) was up 11/16 to 24-13/16, DLJdirect (DIR) was off 1/8 to 17-1/4, Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) was up 3/16 to 20-1/8 and Southwest Securities Group (SWS), parent of had fallen 15/16 to 31-15/16.

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