It was quite the week on Wall Street. The market soared higher, then plummeted, and then came back higher as each piece of economic data told a slightly different story about the economy and the health of the American consumer. There were too many data points and press releases this week to go through them all, and at the end, the only one that really truly seemed to matter was the Bureau of Labor Statistics job report that came out on Friday morning.
Estimated job growth was 164,000, but many market participants believed that the number would come in much lower than that. The report indicated that 175,000 jobs were created in May, but because of a high number of new participants, the actual unemployment rate rose from 7.5% to 7.6%. So investors weren’t sure what to do, and the markets fluctuated until Friday morning. But Friday’s job report gave investors confidence and sent the markets moving high enough to gain back the losses it had suffered earlier in the week. And when the closing bell rang on Friday at 4 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was higher by 132 points, or 0.87%, for the week and sat at 15,248. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) was also up for the previous five trading days by 0.79%, while the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) had gained 0.38% during the week.
Before we hit the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) losers, let’s look at the index’s big winner of the week:
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), whose shares gained 3.78% over the past five trading sessions. This week’s big move came after shares fell 6.23% two weeks ago, when the stock was downgraded and hit with a number of other outside factors. But this week, shares were given a good boost when the company announced it had paid $25 million to CytomX for work on a developmental cancer-fighting antibody therapy. CytomX is a small biotech firm that could receive as much as $600 million if the company meets all the milestones and goals Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has laid out.
The big losers
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) wasn’t the only Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component to totally reverse course from last week. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) went the opposite direction of Pfizer. Two weeks ago, the stock was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s best performer, gaining 3.17%, and this past week, it was the worst on the index, losing 2.05%. This week we saw the bank in the midst of a legal battle in which Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has already agreed to pay $8.5 billion to settle issues that stem back to the company’s purchasing of Countrywide. But not all of the companies that are on the other side of the settlement agree to the amount, which is why Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is once again in court. Some projections claim that Bank of America could pay as much as $60 billion if the judge doesn’t approve the current $8.5 billion amount.