Dow Jones Today: Index Rallies on Jobs Strength

Key Takeaways

  • Caterpillar, Dow Chemicals, and 3M lead the Dow Jones higher.
  • Chevron moves higher as it negotiates for access to Algeria.
  • Verizon shares tumble to decade low on news of Amazon’s cell service plans.

With the bipartisan debt ceiling bill headed to Present Biden for signature, and the Labor Department reporting the economy added more jobs than expected last month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied more than 2% on Friday, adding more than 700 points to the index.

The Dow’s rally made it the session’s leading index and pushed it to close nearly 3% higher on the week, just like an S&P 500 that was also up about 3% on the week, while the Nasdaq was up about 4%. 

While the jobs report contained mixed signals, like an unemployment rate that went up to 3.7%, investors saw signs of a resilient economy that drove the addition of 339,000 jobs, well ahead of the 188,000 jobs that economists expected. 

After dominating markets over the past several sessions, tech stocks stepped aside, as materials, energy and construction were leading industries. The positive economic outlook helped push Caterpillar (CAT) higher by 8%, while Dow Chemicals (DOW) moved up by 5%.

Shares of 3M (MMM) soared higher by more than 8% after DuPont (DD), Chemours (CC) and Corteva (CTVA)  struck a $1.2 billion settlement deal with several states and municipalities over releases of so-called PFAS “forever chemicals.” 3M faces similar legal suits and is expected to have to negotiate a $10 billion settlement. Investors lifted the 3M shares after the settlement provided more clarity over the total costs of the PFAS suits.

Chevron (CVX) moved up by almost 3% after news that it and Exxon (XOM) are negotiating with officials in Algeria about opening the oil-rich Northern African nation up to operations by the Western firms. The oil giants would help Algeria meet the growing European demand for natural gas following bans on Russian gas. Exxon shares were up 2.3%.

Boeing (BA) shares gained about 3%, despite delaying the launch of its Starliner spacecraft, its third time postponing the launch of the space capsule capable of carrying astronauts to the International Space Station. 

Meta Platforms (META) released its Quest 3 VR headset, with a price of $499, just ahead of Apple’s (AAPL) developer day on Monday, when it is expected to release its own long-awaited VR headset, with an expected price tag of $3,000. Apple was up 0.5%, while Meta was flat. 

Verizon (VZ) shares fell more than 3% on news that Amazon (AMZN) was in talks with several wireless carriers, including Verizon, about offering cheap wireless service to Prime members. Trading at about $34.50 per share, Verizon stock was close to its lowest levels since 2011, when its stock was impacted by a nationwide labor strike.