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Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM
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Markets mixed after unemployment report

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Wall Street stocks were mixed Friday after the Labor Department said 146,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rated dropped to 7.7 percent in November.

The jobless rate was down from 7.8 percent the previous month, but the civilian labor-force participation rate dropped just 0.2 percentage points to 63.6 percent.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 46.48 points, or 0.36 percent, to 13,120.52.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index shed 15.55 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,973.71. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 1.04 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,414.98.

The 10-year treasury note was off 12/32 to yield 1.632 percent.

The euro fell to $1.2936 from Thursday's $1.2968. The dollar rose to 82.40 yen from 82.39 yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 17.77 points, 0.19 percent, to 9,527.39.

Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.22 percent, 12.98 points, to 5,914.40.

Jobless rate drops to 7.7 percent

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. unemployment rate edged down a tick to 7.7 percent in November, the lowest it has been in four years, the, Labor Department reported Friday.

The report said 146,000 jobs were added, a moderate gain that helped the rate drop from 7.8 percent, but observers say it came down mostly because an increased number of people stopped looking for work.

The November rate was the lowest since December 2008, when it was 7.3.

The Labor Department said there were 12 million people listed as unemployed, a figure little changed from October. For the long-term unemployed, those out of work for 27 weeks or longer, the count comes to 4.8 million, also little changed.

The department said the civilian workforce declined by 0.2 percentage points to 63.5 percent in November, offsetting a similar increase in October. Total employment was also unchanged after a gain of 1.3 million in September and October.

The jobs added in November were about half as many as economists say are necessary to lower the unemployment rate, explaining that a recent downward movement in the rate has been attributed more to frustrated workers giving up their search for jobs.

The department said employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month for the year.

For November, retail added 53,000 jobs, contributing to a gain of 140,000 over the past three months. Professional and business service jobs are up by 43,000. Healthcare added 20,000 jobs, less than the monthly average for the sector.

Wholesale trades gained 13,000 jobs, hospitality added 23,000, adding to a gain of 305,000 over the past 12 months.

But cornerstone industries of construction and manufacturing did less well. Construction lost 20,000 jobs in November while manufacturing "changed little," with 10,000 new jobs in automobile manufacturing, but 9,000 fewer in chemical manufacturing and 12,000 fewer in food processing.

Washington Post contemplates 'paywall'

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The Washington Post is preparing to put in a paywall for its online readers, limiting non-subscribers' access to online content, a rival newspaper reported.

The Wall Street Journal said the Post is considering a "metered paywall," that allows for a set number of online visits for non-subscribers before access is blocked.

Subscribers of either the online edition or the hard copy would have access to the website.

The Post said Friday its Chief Executive Officer Donald Graham -- who shares business concerns with the owner of Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffett -- had recently applauded Buffett's approach to the newspaper business.

"Anyone who focuses on the newspaper business should be focusing on one company: Berkshire Hathaway," Graham said.

"Warren [Buffett] has bought more than 80 papers," Graham pointed out, adding, "Warren's strategy is: Put in a strict paywall and focus on local, local, local stuff."

The Journal said the Post would also raise its newsstand price, which has escalated from 35 cents in 2007 to $1 for the Monday-through Saturday editions.

The decision to restrict online access is a balancing act between what advertisers are looking for and the need for subscription revenue. The Post is concerned it could lose its audience beyond the capital district and advertising fees are generally set based on circulation and number of online visits.

French Gruyere recognized by EU

PARIS, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- French cheese makers are now allowed to produce Gruyere cheese, the European Commission ruled Friday.

Previously, only Swiss Gruyere was protected by the European Union's regional trading name system, Radio France Internationale reported.

"The European Commission proposal to register the denomination 'Gruyere' as a protected geographical indicator has been approved" by an EU committee of experts, EU farming commission spokesman Roger Waite said.

French Gruyere, however, must contain holes "between the size of a pea and a cherry," and identify on its packaging that it is of French origin.

Australia, New Zealand and the United States objected to the recognition of French Gruyere as a distinct product.

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