The stock markets in the United States recorded another gain today driven by the positive momentum of equities in the energy and commodity sectors. Investors were also optimistic about the jobs data released by ADP Research Institute.

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The research firm reported that American companies created 208,000 jobs in November, a sign that the labor market continues to improve.

The Department of Labor is scheduled to release its official jobs report on Friday. Economists estimated that companies added 230,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 5.8%.

Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells capital Management told Bloomberg, “I think a lot of people are waiting for Friday and the payrolls number. We’re going to have another 200,000-plus payroll number if ADP is any indication, and unit labor costs should stay low. Put those two together and you have real growth without inflation. That’s a recipe for a melt-up in the stock market.”

[drizzle]The Federal Reserve Beige Book indicated that the “employment gains were widespread across districts” amid the continued economic growth, increased spending and decline oil prices.

Charles Posser, president of the Federal Bank of Philadelphia commented. “Labor markets continue to heal, and the stronger-than-expected recovery should serve to underpin continued economic expansion.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,912.49 (+0.18%)
  • S&P 500- 2,074.32 (+0.38%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,774.47 (+0.39%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,179.79 (+0.97%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,247.72 (+0.29%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,716.63 (-1.38%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,971.79 (+0.38%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,720.43 (+0.32%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,428.62 (-0.95%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,967.55 (+1.49%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC) increased more than 5% to $108.17 per share. The shares of the company received a consensus rating of Buy from 25 research firms.

The shares of Carbonite Inc (NASDAQ:CARB) surged more than 22% to $14.44 per share after the company disclosed that it received an unsolicited takeover proposal from J2 Global Inc (NASDAQ:JCOM).  Carbonite said its board of directors will review the offer.

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) closed $7.19 per share, down by more than 2%. The decline was caused by the stock rating downgrade from analysts at Goldman Sachs. Stephen Grambling and his fellow analysts suggested that JC Penney will unlikely achieve its multiyear outlook due the recent competitive changes in the retail industry.

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