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Market Update

U.S. Unemployment Rate at 5-Year Low, Consumer Spending Rises

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 12:55 PM ET December 06 2013

12:50 PM New York Stocks in New York traded higher and unemployment rate in November declined to 7%, a five-year low. Employers added 203,000 staff in the month from revised 200,000 increase in October. Consumer confidence index increased more than expected in December.

Stocks traded higher after falling for five days in a row and investors focused on Fed tapering plan after the release of latest unemployment data.

Jobless Rate Falls to 7%

The jobless rate fell to 7% in November and payrolls increased 203,000 following a revised 200,000 gain in October, the Labor Department said today.

Jobless rate declined to 7% from 7.3% in October and the net new job addition in a four-month period to November an average of 204,000 from 159,000 between April and July.

The average hourly wages increased 4 cents to $24.15 and average work week increase to 34.5 hours, up from 34.4.

Despite the steady improvement in the job market since the Fed began buying government bonds in 2012, the percentage of adults who are working or searching for jobs is still near 35-year low.

Consumer confidence increased more than expected in December to the highest level in five months.

The consumer sentiment index increased to 82.5 from 75.1 in November, the Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan jointly published the index.

Consumer spending increased more than expected in October, the Commerce Department said today.

Household purchases adjusted for inflation increased 0.3% in October, after increasing 0.2% in the previous month.

Total household purchases increased 1.4% in third quarter, the smallest increase since early 2009.

S&P 500 index increased 0.7% to 1,798.05 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.4% to 4,049.72.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index gained 0.7% or 42.44 to 6,541 and in Frankfurt the DAX index jumped 0.9% or 80.70 to 9,166.

In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 0.6% or 25.15 to 4,125.

Market indexes in Ukraine increase 0.4% after falling 4.5% in last two weeks of trading. Police began clearing anti-government protesters continued resistance in freezing weather for the fifteenth day in a row.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange paused all trading for 5 minutes to mark the death of former President Nelson Mandela.

U.S. Stocks

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc (AEO) plunged 9.6% or $1.57 to $14.81 after the specialty retailer reported total revenue in the third-quarter ending on November 2 dropped 6% to $857 million. Comparable store sales including AEO Direct slipped 5%.

Net income in the quarter tumbled 68.3% to $24.4 million or 66 cents a diluted share compared to $11.8 million or 35 cents.

Big Lots, Inc (BIG) tumbled 13.3% or $4.95 to $32.18 after the retailer said total revenues in the third-quarter ending on November 2 rose 1.6% to $1.15 billion. Comparable store sales in the quarter declined 2.5%.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc