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Investors Await Retail, Job Creation Reports

Associated Press

Will Wall Street wrap up another rally in time for the holidays? That will probably depend on a key job creation report and the strength of the weekend’s shopping kickoff.

Retail stocks will certainly move today as reports from the weekend’s sales come in, but investors also will look closely to see if consumers are spending enough to revive the sluggish economic growth seen in the second half of the year.

Friday’s job creation report from the Labor Department is also considered a measure of consumer spending because more people working means more people with spending money and more economic activity. October’s report showed a substantially higher-than-expected 337,000-job increase. For November, Wall Street is expecting at least 200,000 additional jobs. Another positive surprise, combined with a good showing from retailers, could bolster stocks through year’s end.

Last week, holiday-shortened trading and little news left only investors’ bullishness to push stocks modestly higher. For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.62%, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.05%, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 1.51%.

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