Dow Does It Like a Boss: Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Bank of America Corp. (BAC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average didn’t stop at the finish line. A day after setting breaking the record it set back in 2007, the blue chips added another 42 points, or 0.3%. A strong February employment report from the Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) helped get today’s session started off on the right foot as the payroll processor said 198,000 private-sector jobs were added in February.

While Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)’s report often differs significantly from the official data from the Labor Department, which is due out on Friday, the numbers were better than the expected total of 150,000 and conform with the market’s belief that the employment picture is improving despite an unemployment rate still near 8%.

Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP)The Fed’s summary of economic conditions, or its beige book as it’s known, was also released this afternoon. The report showed that the economy expanded all 12 of the central bank’s regions in January and February, though a variety of factors, including the payroll tax increase, the new health-care law, and the prospective budget cuts dampened the growth. The market seemed mostly ambivalent as shares traded within a narrow range following the release.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) was the Dow’s strongest performer on the day, benefiting from the strong jobs report and the Fed’s mostly positive assessment of the economy. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is also awaiting the results of the Federal Reserve’ stress tests due out tomorrow. Investors seem to be optimistic, as my colleague John Maxfield explains here. Passing the Fed’s tests would allow the bank to raise its quarterly dividend, which currently stands at just a penny, despite the bank’s return to profitability.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was absent from today’s rising tide, falling 0.9% after getting fined $731 million by the European Union because it did not provide a web browser choice screen in its new Windows 7 operating system, steering users toward its own Internet Explorer. The sum is negligible for a company worth over $230 billion, but could be a sign of other monopoly abuses across the Atlantic as well as of its need to bend the rules to hold market share.

Elsewhere in the tech world, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) got another jolt today, rising 1.8% late in the session after news broke that activist investor Carl Icahn has reportedly amassed a 6% stake in the PC maker and plans to oppose the leveraged buyout the board agreed to in January. The vote of confidence from Icahn comes fresh off his big win after backing Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and likely has shareholders thinking there may be similar hidden value in Dell.

The article Dow Does It Like a Boss originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

10 Best States To Practice Medicine

The 10 Best States to Have a Business

The 12 Most Expensive Apple (AAPL) Apps in the Market

The 10 Richest Billionaires in the World

10 Biggest Kickstarter Failures

The 10 Best Places to Work At

The Top 10 of Google Inc (GOOGL)’s Most Expensive Acquisitions

13 Best Cities to Visit in South America

10 Most Expensive Works of Art of All Time

The 10 Richest Banks in the World

The 10 Best-Paying Jobs in America (2014)

7 Most Expensive Foods in the World

The World’s Top 10 Earning Authors

Five Wicked and Very Expensive Items (and Other “Stuff”) Sold on eBay

10 Biggest Celebrity Bankruptcies

The Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs in 2014

The 10 Most Expensive Real Estate Cities in America

10 Most Expensive States To Live In America

The 10 Best Airlines in the World

The 10 Best-Selling Cars in 2014

The 10 Best Industries to Invest In

The 10 Most Expensive States to Own a Car In

Top 10 Business Schools in US: 2014 Rankings

Top 20 Female Billionaires in 2014

6 Movies That You Should Watch to Better Understand The Cold War

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2014

Top 6 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top 6 Tax Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Top Businesses to Invest In

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!