Markets Mixed Following Strong Jobs Report


Today, there was more stronger-than-expected economic data -- and another ho-hum response from Wall Street. Nonfarm payrolls jumped 146,000 in November, beating the expectation of 80,000, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.2% to 7.7%, but stocks were mixed in trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.39% as of 3:20 p.m. EST, while the S&P 500 has climbed a modest 0.08%, but the tech-centric Nasdaq is down 0.52% on another bad day for Apple .

Financial stocks have had a nice day -- no surprise following a strong economic report. Bank of America has risen 1.4%, and JPMorgan Chase is up 2.5% to lead the Dow. Executives at JPMorgan did say that its bonus pool will likely shrink this year, leaving more money left over for shareholders. The problem is that early reports show only a 2% decline, which isn't as much shrinkage as some expected.

On the downside, Microsoft's slide continues today, with the stock falling 1.2%. Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Parters, was the latest to turn bearish on the Surface, Microsoft's attempt to compete in the tablet market. He says the company needs to cut the price to become competitive, which most analysts and investors agree with.

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Apple is down 2.8% after consumer confidence fell to 74.5 from 82.7 in November. I doubt this will have a long-term affect on Apple, given the company's strength during the recession, but the stock's fall was a major drag on the Nasdaq today.

In the commodities market, oil fell 0.4% today, continuing a rough stretch for the black gold. Speaking of gold, the shiny metal gained 0.2% today to reach $1,705 per ounce.

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