The stock markets in the United States gained primarily due to the jobs data, which boosted confidence that the economy is strong enough to withstand any interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

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The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 211,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate remained at 5%. The number of people classified as marginally attached to the labor force (neither working nor looking for work over the past four weeks) declined from 2.1 million to 1.7 million last month.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said the economy is recovering a steady pace, and the job growth was solid in November.

“Other economic indicators provide the reason for bullishness. Retail sales for the beginning of the holiday shopping season have been encouraging. Auto sales were again very strong in November: 18.19 million at an annualized rate. The iconic U.S. auto industry, which was flat on its back just seven years ago, continues its remarkable comeback. Historic collective bargaining agreements recently reached by the Big Three automakers remind us all that shared sacrifice between management and labor can lead to shared prosperity,” according to Secretary Perez.

[drizzle]Meanwhile, Phil Orland, the chief equity-market strategist at Federated Investors commented that the jobs report could help clinch a December rate hike. He added,” We should have a spike after yesterday’s overreaction on the euro and Draghi.”

Yesterday, the equity markets were negatively impacted by the stimulus decision of the European Central Bank (ECB). Today, ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank is willing to use its power to defend its inflation mandate. He explained that the combination of measures implemented by the central bank were “meant to address market expectations” and to reach its objectives.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17, 844.43 (+2.10%)
  • S&P 500- 2,091.32 (+2.03%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,142.27 (+2.08%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,182.86(+1.05%)

European Markets

  •  EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,330.75 (-0.38%)
  •  FTSE 100 Index- 6,238.29 (-0.59%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,752.10 (-0.34%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 19,504.48 (-2.18%)
  •  Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 22,235.89(-0.81%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,677.59 (-1.46%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Dollar Tree increased more than 4% to $77.24 per share. Analysts at RBC Capital Markets upgraded their rating on the stock from Outperform to Top Pick with a price target of $90 per share.

Barnes & Noble plummeted almost 17% to $10.03 per share. The company reported disappointing quarterly financial results. The bookseller reported a net loss of $27.2 million or -$0.36 per share and sales dropped 4.5% to $895 million for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended October 31.

The stock value of Relypsa surged more than 30% to $29.14, the biggest gainer on NASDAQ today. Relypsa is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing non-absorbed polymeric drugs for renal and cardiovascular disorders and metabolic diseases. Cantor analyst Mara Goldstein reiterated her Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $42 per share.

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