Daily Data Flow: Stocks Rise; Jobs Number; US Air AMR Merger

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Rise on Employment Data Amid Budget Talks (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index higher for a third week, as optimism over better-than-estimated jobs data overshadowed a drop in consumer confidence amid continuing budget talks. “We’re increasing equities,” said Barry James, who helps oversee $3.5 billion as president of James Investment Research in Xenia, Ohio. “People got too pessimistic about the whole fiscal cliff thing. The markets are in a way looking for a reason to go up.”

Game Changer? Jobs Report ‘Isn’t Much News at All’ (CNBC)
In October, the jobs recovery finally showed signs of gaining traction. But in November, it looked like it was doing little more than spinning its wheels. A better-than-expected 146,000 new jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate to 7.7%, its lowest level since December 2008. But as it so often does, a look under the hood showed things weren’t so rosy as they appeared.

US Air Makes AMR Merger Offer, Jan Deal Possible: Source (Reuters)
US Airways Group Inc. has made a formal merger proposal to American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and its creditors that could value the combined airline at around $8.5 billion, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday. At the same time, AMR is still pursuing a plan to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings as an independent airline, which will be compared against the merits of a merger with US Airways, the person said.

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Today's headline that the U.S. unemployment rate in November fell to 7.7%, its lowest level since 2008, may seem positive until you delve into the data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and realize the number of unemployed stayed around 12 million, while the ranks of the long-term unemployed out of work involuntarily for at least 27 weeks was little changed at 4.8 million.

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