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Stocks End Week Darting Higher; Jobs Reports Shows Surprise Uptick in Hiring

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks moved higher today, regaining much of yesterday's lost ground and responding to a stronger than expected jobs report for October. The Labor Department says there were 204,000 new jobs created when expectations were for just about 120,000. Figures were expected to be low, due to both the government shutdown and distortions in reporting created by the event. Even with the uptick in hiring, the unemployment rate crept up to 7.3%. September's level of 7.2% had been the lowest in nearly five years.

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Twitter (TWTR) swooped lower today in its second day of trading. The stock finished down nearly 9%. The stock ended yesterday, its inaugural day as a publicly traded company, at $44.90. That was up almost 73% from the offering price of $26.

Groupon (GRPN) spiked 6% today on its earnings which came out after yesterday's closing bell. The online deal site shrank its losses with adjusted earnings of 2-cents a share when expectations were for a profit of a penny per share. Revenue, however, missed estimates at $595.1-million compared to $615.69-million. The company says strong growth in North America helped to offset a decline in revenue abroad. More than 40% of transactions for the quarter came from mobile devices.

Priceline (PCLN) climbed 5% on its earnings which also came out after yesterday's closing bell. The travel site missed on earnings but beat on revenues for the quarter. Priceline made $15.72 a share when expectations were for $16.22. Sales were $2.27-billion compared to estimates of $2.21-billion. Revenues were up an impressive 33% year-over-year on a jump in bookings around Asia. The company also announced that Darren Huston will become company President and CEO in January. He'll replace Jeffrey Boyd who's held the positions for 11 years.

Cablevision (CVC) slid nearly 4% despite swinging to a profit for the quarter. That's because the company says it lost 37,000 customers which was greater than expected. Adjusted earnings were 22-cents a share compared to a consensus figure of 11-cents. The company matched estimates on revenues at $1.57-billion.

Sprouts (SFM) was down as much as 5% during the day on its earnings, but finished just 1% lower. This was despite beating estimates with 13-cents a share when analysts were looking for 10-cents. Sales also exceeded estimates. Shares moved lower because the company announced plans to sell up to 225-million new shares. Prior to today's losses, shares of Sprouts were up 16% since the company went public in August.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) can't seem to stop skidding, closing down nearly 2% today. The stock dropped more than 7% yesterday and plummeted 14.5% on Wednesday. The drop began with Tesla's earnings report but extended with word that a third Model S sedan caught fire. There have now been three Tesla fires in the last six weeks.

The Gap (GPS) climbed 9% after reporting a 4% increase in same-stores sales for October. The chain also gave third-quarter sales guidance of 70-cents or 71-cents a share. Estimates had been for 66-cents. The Gap went into today's trading session up 20% year-to-date. Compare that to Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) which is down 31% in the same time.

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