Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

3M Co (MMM), Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Why Stocks Are Surging

3M Co (NYSE:MMM)Blue-chip stocks are broadly higher today after government statistics showed that the unemployment situation is improving faster than expected. With roughly an hour left in the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) is up by 86 points, or 0.58%.

This morning, the Labor Department released its weekly estimate of jobless claims — click here to see the official press release. According to the report, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to a near five-year low. The figure declined by 16,000, to a seasonally adjusted 339,000. Meanwhile, economists surveyed by had expected the figure to come in at 351,000.

According to an economist quoted by The Wall Street Journal, “The drop in claims reinforces our view that the sudden weakening in the data in March was more technical than fundamental, likely due in part at least to the swing in the weather to colder-than-usual from milder-than-usual earlier.”

Earnings season is also exerting its influence on the market today, as a number of bellwether companies reported their financial results from the first three months of the year. The industrial conglomerate 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) came in below expectations, with earnings per share of $1.61, versus the consensus estimate of $1.65. On top of this, the company lowered its forward guidance blaming a “stronger U.S. dollar and softer demand in some end markets.” Share of 3M are down by 2.7% at the time of writing.

The oil giant Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is also seeing its shares fall despite beating bottom-line estimates. For the quarter, Exxon earned $2.12 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $2.05 per share. Investors’ discontent, in turn, is stemming from the company’s falling revenue. In the same period last year, the company reported $124 billion in total revenue and other income. This year, it reported only $108 billion.

And finally, shares of United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) are headed higher on the heels of its better-than-expected first-quarter performance. The shipping giant notched a 9% improvement in its operating profit on a year-over-year basis, attributing the gain to increased volume from e-commerce sales — click here for the earnings release (link opens PDF). Unlike 3M Co (NYSE:MMM), moreover, UPS reaffirmed its guidance for the remainder of the year. According to its chief financial officer, “Although macro uncertainty remains, we are reaffirming our 2013 guidance for full year adjusted diluted earnings per share to be within a range of $4.80 to $5.06.”

Speaking of e-commerce,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is scheduled to report its own results after the closing bell today. The consensus estimate on its earnings is for $0.28 per share, roughly in line with last year.

The article The Reason Stocks Are Surging Today originally appeared on and is written by John Maxfield.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M,, and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS). The Motley Fool owns shares of

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

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.