1:15pm (EST)

Futures were pointing towards a nasty open this morning ahead of two key economic reports but the bears quickly retreated after hearing the private employment jobs news.  The Challenger Job Cuts report said job cuts slowed from the same period a year ago while the ADP Employment Change report showed there was an increase of 297,000 jobs during December (versus expectations for an increase of 100,000).

This was triple the size of what had been widely expected although some on Wall Street remain leery of the number.  The ADP report can be sketchy at times but the bulls are hopeful that the official non-farm payrolls report on Friday can deliver the same excitement. 

The bond market rebounded quickly after hearing the news and the Dow futures improved after being down over 80 points ahead of the reports.  Although the market opened lower, the bulls are once again challenging resistance.

As far a specific stocks, THQ (THQI, $6.35, down $0.01) said it will team up with Mattel (MAT, $25.51, up $0.23) to develop video games based on popular Mattel toys like Barbie, Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels.  We have been watching the Gaming stocks and we like the strength THQ has been showing lately.  THQ and Mattel said they plan to release the first of the new games in time for the next holiday season.

As we head to press, the Dow is higher by 47 points and is currently at 11,738 while the S&P 500 is up a six-pack and is at 1,276.  The Nasdaq is showing a pop of 17 points and was last seen at 2,697.  We would love to see a close at the levels with the Nasdaq clearing 2,700 by the bell.

We have a lot to cover in our Members Area so let’s get on it.