The stock markets in the United States advanced earlier today but eventually ended the trading session down as oil prices continue to slide. The WTI crude declined 0.63% to $33.06 per barrel, and the Brent crude fell 0.83% to $33.47 a barrel.

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The Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December, the second best month of jobs growth in 2015. The private sector in the country added a total of 2.7 million jobs last year. The unemployment rate remained at 5%.

The average hourly earnings last month were little changed at $25.24. The average hourly earnings increased 2.5% over the year.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, said, “The longest streak of private-sector job growth on record continues, now at 70 straight months with 14.1 million new jobs over that time. We’ve made tremendous progress. Seven years ago, the U.S. economy was in free fall, hemorrhaging 2.3 million private-sector jobs in just the three months before President Obama took office.”

[drizzle]The U.S. stock markets climbed after the agency released its jobs report earlier, but the positive news was overshadowed by plunging oil prices. The equities of energy companies retreated.

Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., told Bloomberg that the continued improvement in the labor market “should calm some fears about the U.S. economy losing growth momentum.” He added that the jobs report, “also validates the sense that there’s no rush to tighten again because we’re not seeing much wage pressure.”

According to Mark Spellman, a fund manager at Alpine Funds, investors are still in a “risk-off mentality. “I think any kind of risk-on trade mentality that comes in is going to be short-lived until global economic growth improves. It’s not a great time to pile in right now.”

The concerns regarding China was alleviated after policymakers set a higher yuan reference rate and suspended its circuit breaker system that stopped the stock trading twice this week. The Chinese government also ordered state-controlled funds to purchase local equities.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 16, 344.88 (-1.02%)
  • S&P 500- 1,921.93 (-1.09%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,643.63 (-0.98%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,050.10 (-1.36%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,033.47 (-1.66%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 5,912.44 (-0.70%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,849.34 (-1.31%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 17,697.96 (-0.39%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 20,453.71 (+0.59%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,361.56 (+2.04%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock value of BlackBerry declined more than 3% to $7.71 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. CEO John Chen said the Canadian technology company is planning to release at least two Android smartphone this year.

FuelCell Energy surged more than 15% to $6.16 per share after Connecticut approved the draft proposal for the construction of a 63.3-megawatt Beacon Falls fuel cell power plant, the biggest worldwide.

The stock price of Viacom increased more than 5% to $40.98 per share. The media company allowed a vote whether to extend the voting rights to all shareholders amid the growing concern regarding the health of its 92-year old Chairman Sumner Redstone. The measure is expected to fail because Redstone’s holding company, which owns a majority stake in Viacom, is against it.

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