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Economy's pulse sends bulls racing

Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 02:12

Jan. 4 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks enjoy their best week in more than a year as data on the labor market and services sector show steady economic improvement; Apple to lose market share to Samsung - report. Conway G. Gittens reports.

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Wall Street rallies to its best close since 2007 as the jobs keep on coming. Payroll gains were slight, though, so the rally was not that big for the day, but big enough to put together a 3.8 percent weekly surge for the Dow and a 4.8 percent rally for the Nasdaq. 155,000 Americans landed jobs in December, despite all the chatter about going over the fiscal cliff. The hiring, however, not enough to move an unemployment rate stuck at an upwardly revised 7.8 percent. Moody's economist John Lonski: SOUNDBITE: JOHN LONKSI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S CAPITAL MARKETS GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Gains by construction employment and manufacturing employment stood out and I would say that I was impressed by the fact that once again the increase in payrolls exceeded expectations. We're now looking at a rate of jobs creation that closely resembles what happened during the previous economic recovery." Lonski and other economists quickly point out the jobs recovery from the 2007-2009 recession is still mediocre and could slip this year with Federal spending likely to slow. In other sign of steady growth: the services sector expanded at its fastest pace in 10 months, according to the Institute for Supply Management's December survey. Apple, the company who put the "i" in mobile, expected to fall further behind Samsung in the smartphone market. According to research firm Strategy Analytics a lack of innovation means Apple's market share will grow slower in a cooling market. That prediction sent shares of Apple lower on Friday, which closed out 2012 with a 31 percent gain, compared to a 44 percent rally for Samsung. Staying with an international flare, Swiss private bank Wegelin closing its doors for good and paying nearly $60 billion in penalty and fines, one day after admitting it helped wealthy Americans dodge taxes. As for European markets: no dodging or hiding for the bulls, with stocks closing at a near two-year peak.

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Economy's pulse sends bulls racing

Saturday, January 05, 2013 - 02:12

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