Jobs Numbers Fail to Wow Investors

The November jobs numbers are in, and Wall Street is responding with a collective yawn.
U.S. employers added 146,000 jobs in November – ahead of the September and October pace, but behind the 150,000-per-month average over the last two years. The more encouraging news was that the unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% to 7.7% – its lowest level in four years.
But the jobs numbers have failed to wow investors, as stocks have been largely stagnant today. The S&P 500 is basically flat, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up only 0.4%. The Nasdaq is down half a percent, driven largely by another bad day for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).
The lack of positive movement in the market is a bit of a surprise considering the jobs numbers were much better than people were estimating. Analysts were expecting only 80,000 new jobs to be added after Hurricane Sandy left millions of businesses without power in early November.
While it played less of a role in the jobs numbers than analysts were expecting, Sandy had everything to do with the improved unemployment rate. About 350,000 Americans left the work force in November – many of them leaving because their businesses were literally under water.
What soured the jobs numbers even further was that the September and October numbers were revised down by roughly 50,000 jobs.
There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this jobs report. In the end, however, it came and went without making much of a dent.

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