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US stocks mostly up as market digests weak job growth


People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic
People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Dec 3 — Wall Street stocks mostly rose early today as markets digested data showing disappointing US job growth after Congress approved an agreement to avert a government shutdown.

The United States added just 210,000 jobs last month, the government reported, less than half the increase analysts were expecting. But the unemployment rate fell more than projected to 4.2 per cent.

Analysts described the report as largely disappointing, despite some more positive elements in granular data. It comes as the Federal Reserve has signalled plans to accelerate the timetable for scaling back stimulus.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 per cent to 34,717.24.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent at 4,586.71, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.3 per cent to 16,529.38.

Analysts are also watching for developments on the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which looms as a potential headwind, depending on the number of cases and whether vaccines limit the health impacts.

On Thursday night, the Senate approved a stopgap funding bill to keep federal agencies running into 2022 and avert a costly holiday season government shutdown. — AFP



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