Stocks Rise Despite Job Woes

But a modest hit
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2008 8:58 AM CDT
A pair of specialists work at their post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday Oct. 22, 2008.    (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Stocks got a modest bump at the opening bell today despite an ugly job report, as mixed earnings clouded the waters. The Dow rose 69 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq rose 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. Jobless claims took an unexpected spike last week, and the Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman Sachs is about to cut 10% of its workforce.

Investor fears have shifted from credit market weakness to earnings weakness. “Investors are not just worried about the third-quarter results, but especially what they represent in terms of potential growth for the fourth-quarter,” explained one spread bettor. Among the earnings making waves today were Dow Chemicals, which beat estimates with a 6.2% income climb, and Amazon, which reported a 48% profit jump, but forecast weak fourth-quarter sales.