Stock Market Today: Jobs Jubilee Drives Fresh Highs in Dow, S&P 500

Wall Street had a full three days to digest the March jobs report, and it’s clear investors liked what they saw.

The Labor Department reported Friday, a stock-market holiday, that the U.S. added 916,000 jobs last month – a massive beat of economists’ expectations for 647,000 additions. It also was a significant jump from February’s 468,000 new jobs – a number that itself was revised upward by nearly 100,000.

The report “emphasizes the strong recovery that is beginning to take shape in the service sector of the economy,” says Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. “With 280k jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector added, it is a clear signal that pockets of the economy that have been hit by pandemic restrictions are starting to come back to life.”

Further bolstering that case was the Institute for Supply Management’s March service reading, which rose to 63.7 from 55.3 in February, shattering expectations for a 59.0 reading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.1%) hit a record high of 33,527, led by gains in Walgreens (WBA, +3.7%), Intel (INTC, +3.1%) and Walmart (WMT, +2.8%). The S&P 500 also recorded a new high-water mark, up 1.4% to 4,077.

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Other action in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 improved by 0.5% to 2,264.
  • Global COVID outbreaks and an OPEC+ vote to increase production sent U.S. crude oil futures 4.5% lower to $58.69 per barrel.
  • Gold futures were marginally higher to $1,728.80 per ounce.
  • Bitcoin prices finished 0.2% higher on Monday to reach $59,006. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
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FAANGs Start to Look Sharper, Too

The Nasdaq Composite remains a few hundred points shy of its February highs, but it still had itself a day, climbing 1.7% to 13,705.

The tech-heavy index was propelled in part by Tesla (TSLA), which jumped 4.4% along with several other electric vehicle stocks Monday. Wedbush technology analyst Dan Ives upgraded Tesla to “Outperform” and raised his price target to $1,000 amid several drivers, including EV-friendly initiatives in President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

Also heading higher were all of the “FAANGs,” best among them Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL, +4.2%) and Facebook (FB, +3.4%) – welcome news for the group of mega-cap tech and tech-adjacent stocks that easily outstripped the major indices in 2020 but have collectively simmered this year, underperforming the S&P 500 on average.

Most of the analyst community remains bullish on the group, though each of these large companies has a more difficult row to hoe in 2021. Should you buy the FAANGs now? Consider the challenges faced by each of these five widely held stocks in the months ahead – and what, if anything, they’re doing to fight back.


What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Starting a New Company?

Interested in starting a new business? You will need to anticipate mistakes. Here are the most common mistakes new business owners make and how to avoid them.


Andrew Charles, Partner
March 30, 2021

mistakes that people make when they are starting a new business? There are several examples that everyone should keep in mind.

If you are interested in starting a new business, then you need to plan for the unexpected. This means anticipating mistakes.

Not finding an opening in the current market

One of the first mistakes that people make when they are trying to start a business is not finding an opening in the current market. With technology the way it is today, it is more competitive than ever. Therefore, there might not be many openings available. At the same time, those who are trying to start a business need to find one.

If you are starting a business, who is going to buy your products and services? Where are they currently getting their products and services from? If your product is not better than the next best alternative, why would customers switch from that location to your business? If you are not able to find an opening in the market, then your business is going to have a hard time getting off the ground. Think about this when you are trying to build a business.

Not putting the right plan in place

Another common mistake that people make is not having the right plan in place. In order for a business to be successful, there has to be a strong plan. The problem is that companies today have a lot of moving parts. Therefore, it is difficult for business owners to keep all the information in the same place. If they cannot see everything at once, they will not be able to identify trends. That is where integrated business planning can be helpful. By aligning technology, finances, supply chains, and other information in the same place, business owners can make the best decision for the future of the company.

Not hiring the right people for the job

There is no business that was successfully built by one person alone. Therefore, business owners need to make sure they find the right people for the job. Even though it is hard to find good help these days, business owners need to take their time, vet everyone, and place their employees in the best position possible to be successful. If business owners do not hire the right people for the job, the company is going to struggle. By taking a look at experience and training, business owners can hire the right help.

There is no business that was successfully built by one person alone. Therefore, business owners need to make sure they find the right people for the job.

Trying to expand too far, too fast

Another mistake that business owners have is trying to expand too quickly. Of course, you would like your business to go as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if you do not have the capital to expand your company, you might take on more debt than you can manage. Even though expanding your business is great, you need to have the cash flow to support this growth. Without a steady flow of cash, you will not be able to keep up with your debt payments, placing your company in a position to default. Expand your company when you have the foundation to support it, not before.

Not asking for help when it is needed

Finally, business owners also need to know when to ask for help. No two companies are the same, and it is helpful to get a perspective from the outside from time to time. If you feel like you are struggling, overwhelmed, or do not know what to do next, do not be afraid to ask for help. This could come in the form of a mentor, a former boss, a teacher, or even a consulting firm. If you ask for help sooner rather than later, you might be able to avoid significant issues that would otherwise threaten the future of your company.

Set your company up for success moving forward

These are just a few of the examples of mistakes that people make when they are starting a new business. If you are trying to place your business in a position to be successful, it is critical to think about these mistakes ahead of time. That way, you can reduce the chances of making a critical mistake that could sink your business. Finally, remember that you do not have to go through this alone. There are trained professionals who are willing to step up and place your business in the best position possible to make a strong mark in your industry.