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KiplingerDec 04, 2020
Stock Market Today: What Lousy Job Numbers? Major Indices Shoot to New Highs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered a doozy of a nonfarm payrolls report Friday.

The good news: The unemployment rate dipped to 6.7% in November from 6.9%. The bad news? The U.S. added just 245,000 jobs last month - substantially lower than economists' expectations and a clear slowdown from October's revised 610,000 additions.

SEE MORE Where to Invest in 2021 "It's not surprising to see a one-month pause in the rapid pace of payroll gains we have seen, with slower hiring due to temporary COVID-related reductions in activity, even if the actions fall short of the dramatic springtime lockdowns," says Rick Rieder, BlackRock's chief investment officer of global fixed income.

Some on Wall Street were a little more pointed in translating the payroll numbers, however.

"This is a disappointing report, and one that shows the third wave of the pandemic is having a bigger effect on hiring than had been thought, says Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. "This is a wake-up call for Congress and should support more federal stimulus."

Capitol Hill appears to be listening. Today it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighing in, saying "there is momentum" toward a COVID-19 relief bill as the clock winds down on 2020.

Wall Street clearly put more (ahem) stock in Washington negotiations than slowing employment gains, as investors drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( 0.8% to 30,218) to fresh-all time highs, led by Caterpillar (CAT, 4.3%), Chevron (CVX, 3.9%) and International Bu

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