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The Dow climbed on the week, helped Friday by stronger-than-expected jobs data. However, tumbling Apple shares knocked the Nasdaq lower by more than 1% for the week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 81.1 points, or 0.62%, to 13155, the S&P 500 gained 4.1 point, or 0.29%, to 1418 and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 11.2 points, or 0.38%, to 2978.
For the week, the Dow jumped 1%, the S&P 500 tilted higher by 0.13% and the Nasdaq slumped 1.1%.
It was a grim week for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares. The world's biggest publicly traded company plunged 8.9%.
Data Paint Muddled Picture
The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by 146,000 in November from October, significantly more than the 93,000 expected. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% the month prior to its lowest level since December 2008. Economists were expecting the unemployment rate to remain at 7.9%. The Labor Department said Hurricane Sandy "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November." Many economists expected the superstorm to have a negative impact.
"The good news is not that the labor market is improving rapidly – it isn't – but that employment growth is holding up despite all the fears over the fiscal cliff," Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight wrote in a research note.
Digging into the report, the private sector added 147,000 jobs, while the government shed 1,000. Average hourly earnings climbed four cents to $23.63.
Still, many economists don't expect the recently upbeat data to impact the Federal Reserve's highly-aggressive monetary policy stance.
"While the data ... suggest that the labour market continues to recover, and bodes well for economic growth in the final quarter of the year, the gains are unlikely to persuade the Fed from changing its stimulus stance," Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson wrote in an e-mail.
Consumer sentiment fell much more than expected in early December from November. The Reuters/University of Michigan gauge slid to 74.5 from 82.7, far lower than the 82.4 that was expected. These data are especially important given the key holiday shopping season is kicking into high gear.
Later, the Federal Reserve releases its reading on consumer credit conditions.
In Europe, Germany's Bundesbank said it expects Germany's economy to grow at a pace of just 0.4% next year, down sharply from a June forecast of 1.6%. The country is Europe's economic powerhouse, but has been showing increasing vulnerability to the eurozone debt crisis. The news comes only a day after the European Central Bank cut its economic forecast for the entire currency bloc.
Commodities markets were fairly stable. The benchmark crude contract dipped 33 cents, or 0.38%, to $85.93 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.02% to $2.597 a gallon. In metals, gold gained $3.70, or 0.22%, to $1,706 a troy ounce.
On the corporate front, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and its chief executive Reed Hastings received "Wells Notices" from the Securities and Exchange Commission on fair disclosure questions, a filing released late Thursday revealed.
The Euro Stoxx 50 dipped 0.08% to 2601, the English FTSE 100 climbed 0.22% to 5914 and the German DAX slumped 0.22% to 7518.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.19% to 9527 and the Chinese Hang Seng edged lower by 0.26% to 22191.