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Bad Jobs Report Hammers the Markets

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted January 4, 2008

A lousy jobs report today sent the market tumbling today. The major indexes each fell more than 1.5 percent today.

Here’s the gist of the bad news that lead to the plunge.

From the AP by Jeannine Aversa entitled: Jobless Rate Hits 5 Percent, 2-Year High

“Hiring practically stalled in December, driving the nation’s unemployment rate up to a two-year high of 5 percent and fanning fears of a recession.

Employers last month added the fewest new jobs to their payrolls in more than four years, according to the employment report released Friday by the Labor Department. The report showed that employment conditions are deteriorating, strained by a housing slump and credit crunch that are sapping economic strength.

“The economy is getting hit by some body blows. The big question is whether the economy can withstand it or will it take a fall,” said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.

The unemployment rate jumped from 4.7 percent in November to 5 percent in December, the highest since November 2005 after the Gulf Coast hurricanes dealt the country a mighty blow. Total payrolls — both private employers and government — grew by just 18,000 last month, the worst showing since August 2003, when the economy suffered job losses as it struggled to recover from the 2001 recession.

For all of 2007, the economy added 1.33 million jobs and the unemployment rate averaged 4.6 percent, the same as in 2006. Employment growth averaged 111,000 a month in 2007, down from 189,000 a month in 2006.”

Not pretty. Not pretty at all.

Of course, there’s really no need to worry . After all, President Bush says the nation’s “financial markets are safe and strong.”

Yeah right.

2008 is off to a rough start.

By the way, keep an eye on the 12800 level on the DOW. It needs to hold.