Jobs Report Plagues The Usual Suspects
Published on Friday, 04 May 2012 19:38 Written by Todd Shriber
A gloomy jobs report usually means plenty of gloomy action for U.S. stocks and that was certainly the case on Friday as the S&P 500 careened to its worst weekly loss of 2012 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a decline of nearly 170 points. The Nasdaq was easily the worst of the trio with a drop of 2.25%. In other words, no sector escaped the savagery that played out this session.
Along those lines it must be noted that some sectors took it on the chin more than others following the April jobs report, which showed the addition of just 115,000 new jobs last month, well below the 160,000 new jobs economists expected.
Already vulnerable and trading well below their highest levels of 2012, bank stocks were battered in the wake of the Labor Department’s non-farm payroll (NFP) report. For example, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSE: XLF) lost 1.6% on volume that was inline with the daily average. Through the first quarter, XLF and rival bank ETFs had been among the better sector ETFs on the year and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) was the best-performing stock in the Dow with a Q1 gain of about 70%.
Speaking of BofA, XLF’s fifth-largest component with a weight of almost 4.7%, the shares plunged 3.25% on Friday on light volume. BofA’s chart is now so weak that it appears likely that another 10% could be shaved off the stock, taking it back to its 200-day moving average around $7.
The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSE: KBE) is another cautionary tale. Following a 1.6% decline on Friday, KBE is now down almost 4% in the past month and the fund violated support at $23. The next stopping could easily be around $21, is near the 200-day line.
High-flying retail stocks and ETFs, which had been winners thanks to bullish economic data points earlier this year, were also pound by the tepid April jobs news. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT) gave up almost 2% on volume that was double the daily average. While XRT managed to close above critical support at $60, one more bad day from here could send the ETF tumbling as there is no legitimate material support for another $4 or $5 below $60.
At the stock-specific level, the jobs report provided the perfect excuse for traders to depart and/or hammer luxury goods purveyors. Michael Kors (NYSE: KORS) endured one of its worst days as a public company with a loss of nearly 5%. Tiffany (NYSE: TIF) lost 3% and Coach (NYSE: COH) lost 2.3% and the charts of all three look inviting at the moment...inviting for bears and put buyers, that is.
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