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.

The Dow Goes for Its Sixth Straight Gain: The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Bank of America Corp (BAC)

The month of March has been kind to blue-chip stocks. Since closing at 14,054 on the last day of February, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has throttled ahead by 323 points, or 2.3%. And unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few days, you likely know that it’s trading in record territory; the previous high was set more than five years ago in October of 2007.

The impetus for today’s continued ascent can be summed up in one word: jobs. The Department of Labor announced this morning that domestic employers added an estimated 236,000 jobs last month, far exceeding the 160,000 median estimate of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. In light of the gains, the unemployment rate declined to 7.7%, its lowest point since the end of 2008.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)“People are starting to hire,” a Morgan Stanley managing director told Bloomberg News, “and in fact they have been hiring for a few quarters.” She then went on to note that some of the “caution with respect to the payrolls is starting to evade. You’ll probably see a faster pace as people start to move toward growth as opposed to maintaining the status quo because of the uncertainty they feel in the market.”

Following the news, the Dow opened higher by roughly 50 points and has stayed within a relatively narrow range ever since.

In terms of individual stocks, shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) are leading the blue-chip index, up by 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively, in afternoon trading. With respect to the former, as my colleague Dan Carroll addresses in more detail, analysts recently raised revenue projections for the entertainment company thanks to its new take on the classic “Wizard of Oz” story.

And with respect to the latter, the popular fast-food chain reported better-than-expected same-store sales figures for the month of February. Sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 1.5%. By comparison, analysts had expected a 1.63% decline.

Heading lower, alternatively, are both of the Dow’s banking stocks: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) have seen respective losses of 1.4% and 0.9%. The moves come a day after the Federal Reserve announced the results of its latest stress test, which almost every participant passed. To see how these banks and 16 of their peers fared, click here.

The article The Dow Goes for Its Sixth Straight Gain originally appeared on and is written by John Maxfield.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). The Motley Fool recommends McDonald’s and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)., McDonald’s, and Walt Disney.

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.