On today’s episode of the Zacks Friday Finish Line, Associate Stock Strategist Ryan McQueeney and Editor Maddy Johnson discuss the ISM manufacturing index, the latest jobs report, Apple’s profit warning, and a major merger deal in the biotech industry.
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Stocks gained in early trading Friday, erasing much of the losses witnessed Thursday on the back of a reassuring jobs report. The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations and cooling fears of a slowdown.
The jobs report also revealed that average hourly earnings were up 3.2% from last year and that the labor force participation rate had surged to a five-year high. These positives were delivered just one day after Wall Street raised serious questions about the domestic economy thanks to another key macroeconomic indicator.
Indeed, the latest data from the ISM manufacturing index caused volatility Thursday. The measure of U.S. manufacturing activity showed growth had slowed to its slowest pace in two years, with sluggish demand for new products creating a tepid atmosphere in the industry.
Investors earlier this week were also troubled by news from tech behemoth Apple (AAPL - Free Report) . The iPhone maker issued its first profit warning in over 15 years on Wednesday, citing weakness in Greater China as the key reason for its disappointing quarter. Apple’s note of caution spooked investors and underscored concerns about the effects of the trade war.
Nevertheless, a separate industry saw bullish sentiment on Thursday. That industry was biotech, as several stocks surged into the green thanks to residual excitement stemming from Bristol Meyers Squibb’s (BMY - Free Report) deal to buy cancer-treatment specialist Celgene (CELG - Free Report) .
Will other biotechs find themselves the targets of takeover chatter this year? Was Apple’s guidance cut actually a big deal? How should investors feel about this week’s mixed macroeconomic news? Ryan and Maddy answer these questions, and more, only on the Zacks Friday Finish Line!
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