The market has been in a tight range today as the bulls look tired and the bears are trying to take advantage of a weak jobs report.
The latest unemployment claims report disappointed Wall Street as the Labor Department said first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to 444,000 last week from an upwardly revised 448,000 the previous week. The pencil pushers were looking for 440,000.
We have mentioned that jobs growth will be the key to any sustained rally and high unemployment remains a major obstacle to a strong economic recovery. The unemployment rate is just under 10% but needs to get in the 7%-8% range if the Dow is going to make a push to 12,000 this year.
We are seeing some action in the IPO market as a couple of companies tested the waters to go public.
Express (EXPR, $17.00, flat) sold 16 million shares and raised over $270 million in its debut. The specialty retailer is the sixth largest apparel brand in the U.S. and had planned to sell shares for $18-$20 each.
Roadrunner Transportation Systems (RRTS, $14.00, flat) netted nearly $150 million after offering a little over 10 million shares at $14 apiece, the bottom of its expected range. Beep-Beep is a transportation logistics company.
Noranda Aluminum (expected ticker symbol: NOR) got nervous and has yet to price after cutting the size of its deal. The company is now offering 10 million shares for $8-$9 each, which would raise about $85 million, but we have not seen a print.
Look for China Green (expected ticker symbol: CHGN) soon which is offering 1 million shares at $5.
As we head to press, the Dow is down 22 points to 10,874 while the S&P 500 is off by 4 to 1,167. The Nasdaq is lower by 10 points to 2,414.]]>