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Stocks mixed as employers add to payrolls

Updated: November 2, 2012 1:16PM



U.S. stocks were mixed Friday after a better-than-expected report on the labor market in October suggested that the slow economic recovery remains on track.

In the last big piece of economic news before Tuesday’s presidential election, the Labor Department said employers added 171,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent. More jobs were added in the previous two months than was first reported, the government said.

The economy is the top issue in the election, but few expect the latest jobs numbers — not great, not terrible — will sway many voters. Stocks in Europe and the U.S. rose after the report was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, then gave back much of those gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 57 points in the first minute of trading, but the gains evaporated quickly.

By 10 a.m., the Dow was down 12 points at 13,220. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose two to 1,429. The Nasdaq composite index fell three points to 3,011.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.76 percent from 1.73 percent late Thursday as demand for ultra-save investments declined.

Stocks of consumer companies rose strongly, with internet travel sites priceline.com and TripAdvisor Inc. leading the S&P 500. The companies surprised investors with better-than-expected third-quarter earnings after the market closed on Thursday. TripAdvisor rose $6.12, or 21 percent, to $35.53. Priceline added $61.24, or 10 percent, to $647.34.

Starbucks was the third biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $4.47, or 10 percent, to $51.09. The ubiquitous coffee vendor said late Thursday that a key sales metric rose 6 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter, which runs from July through September.



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