Markets Close Higher Going Into Holiday

Markets Close Higher Going Into Holiday

Although today was a shortened trading session, it was still full of excitement because of international woes, and the ADP jobs report. After estimates had pinned the private-sector jobs report today to show 160,000 new positions had been created in June and the number actually came in at 188,000, investors had something to cheer about. But the problem in Egypt seems to have investors concerned that the issue could spread into other parts of the Middle East and put the whole region in turmoil.

So while the markets did close higher for the day, they opened in the red and had to fight their way higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 56 points, or 0.38%, and now sits just a few points shy of the 15,000 mark at 14,988. The S&P 500 increased by 0.08%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3% during the shortened holiday session.

Only eight of the Dow's 30 components ended the day lower, and leading the Dow's losers today was Alcoa , which lost 1.15% of its value. The stock fell on the news that JPMorgan Chase had downgraded the stock, lowered its price target, and cut its earnings estimates for the coming second-quarter report, which is scheduled to be released on Monday. JPMorgan's previous rating of "neutral" was lowered to "overweight," while the target price was cut from $12 per share to $9 when looking out to December 2014. Furthermore, the EPS was lowered from $0.14 per to $0.04 because of lower aluminum prices. The company also cut Alcoa's full 2013 year earnings estimate from $0.57 to $0.55 per share. Needless to say, JPMorgan doesn't have a lot of faith in Alcoa at this time.

Another big loser was Caterpillar , which lost 0.76% of its value today. One reason shares may have moved lower was the report that the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in May. Economists had expected the deficit to hit $40.1 billion, but it came in much higher at $45 billion. The report indicated that exports decayed, which reflects slow or stagnant growth in major markets such as China and Europe. While Caterpillar does derive a large portion of its revenue from the U.S., the company needs other economies to be performing well, or it will suffer.

The Dow's best-performing stock of the day was Boeing , as shares rose 1.4% on news that the company outdelivered Airbus during the first half of the year. Boeing has delivered 306 jetliners thus far in 2013, while Airbus has shipped 295 planes to customers. This all came during a time when Boeing was dealing with battery issues from its 787 Dreamliner, which had been grounded by the FAA. Boeing also previously announced that it had been ramping up production at its plants and plans to continue increasing product rates until earlier 2014.

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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