The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is up during mid-afternoon trading today. The Index bounced around this morning, but as of 12:30 p.m. EDT the Dow sits at 13,518 points, up more than 36 points, or 0.26%.
The market could be reacting to a positive ADP jobs report. Released this morning, it shows that the private sector added 162,000 new jobs in September, beating economists' expectations for 153,000. There is, however, concern over the accuracy of this report. For example, in August ADP said 201,000 jobs had been added, a number which has now been revised to 189,000. But that's not where the real discrepancy comes into play; the Labor Department reported only 96,000 jobs added in August.
Why are they down?
Crude oil slipped below $90 a barrel this morning, and while that's a good thing for you and me at the gas pump, it's not something that makes big oil companies happy. The cause of the slide was a report that came out late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute indicating that inventories rose by 462,000 barrels last week. The Energy Information Administration is expected to report on supplies sometime today, and if the numbers deviate, volatility in the price of oil will surely follow. ExxonMobil and Chevron are currently down by 0.12% and 0.94%, respectively.
Hewlett-Packard is on a wild ride this morning, up slightly at the open and now falling more than 6.36%. There is no major news about the company today, but CEO Meg Whitman is currently meeting with securities analyst in San Francisco. While early reports don't indicate any major changes to the company or its turnaround plan, we can only image that individuals at the meeting are not hearing what they want.
With ADP numbers proving to be unreliable in the past, it's hard to say whether the Dow will stay in the black for the whole trading session. If it does turn negative, remember that long-term investing takes the patience and discipline to stick with solid companies even when times get tough. Chevron and Exxon are two of those dependable companies. To learn about eight more rock-solid stocks that will help your portfolio in good and bad times, simply click here.