The U.S. stock market is moving notably higher this morning, as traders look to extend Friday’s gains. At just past noon in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is ahead 189 points; the broader S&P 500 Index is up 24 points; and the technology-heavy NASDAQ is 46 points higher.
Wall Street traders and investors, hoping for a strong employment increase in September, were rudely disappointed, as the pace of job creation slowed dramatically last month. Specifically, expectations had been for a payroll gain of 200,000; instead, the number came in at just 142,000. The statistics were furnished by the U.S. Labor Department.
Anyone who buys gasoline knows what has happened to oil prices since mid-2014. The steep price decline since then has been good for drivers, but not for oil giants (and Dow-30 components) Exxon Mobil and Chevron. In addition to oil, these companies produce natural gas, which has also seen weak quotations in recent months. Understandably, the two companies have been hurt, and earnings are down due mainly to lower commodity prices and unfavorable swings in foreign currency exchange rates. How have the oil giants reacted to the decline in commodity prices?