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Post Info TOPIC: It's the economy... But where are the jobs?


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It's the economy... But where are the jobs?

The US economy, overall may be a little brighter heading into 2012, but the job picture really isn't shining, or signaling its lights. Yet...

U.S. Stocks Gain as Data Signal Strengthening American Economy

December 15, 2011, 12:37 PM EST

By Inyoung Hwang

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rose, snapping a three- day decline in the Standard & Poors 500 Index, as data on jobless claims and manufacturing signaling a strengthening economy overshadowed concern over Europes debt crisis.

FedEx Corp. jumped 6.7 percent after earnings beat analysts estimates. JPMorgan Chase & Co. advanced 1.2 percent as financial stocks gained after Spain sold more debt than it had planned. Novellus Systems Inc. surged 21 percent as Lam Research Corp. agreed to acquire the company. First Solar Inc., the worlds largest maker of thin-film solar panels, led a decline in technology stocks, dropping 4.8 percent.

The S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent to 1,218.83 at 12:11 p.m. New York time, after rising as much as 1.1 percent earlier. The benchmark index for American equities fell 3.5 percent over the previous three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 72.20 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,895.68 today.

We do have better economic numbers in the U.S., Michael Strauss, who helps oversee about $27 billion of assets as the chief investment strategist at Commonfund in Wilton, Connecticut, said in a telephone interview. At the end of the day, macro economic news domestically is more important to company valuations than whats going on internationally.

Stocks fell yesterday as growing funding stress in the euro area fueled concern that the region is struggling to contain its sovereign-debt crisis. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said at an event in Washington today that the crisis is not only unfolding, but escalating and cannot be resolved by one group of countries.

Jobless Claims

Stocks rallied earlier after data on jobless claims and manufacturing signaled a strengthening U.S. economy and Spain sold almost twice as much debt as targeted at an auction. Labor Department figures showed initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 366,000 last week, the fewest since May 2008. The median of 47 economists had projected 390,000, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Two reports showed manufacturing in the New York and Philadelphia regions expanded more than forecast in December. The Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorks general economic index accelerated to the highest level in seven months, to 9.5 from 0.6 in November. Readings higher than zero signal expansion among companies in region, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphias general economic index increased to 10.3 in December from 3.6 last month, indicating expansion in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.



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