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Stocks Start Lower After Jobs Data

December 6, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stock prices have started lower on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 115 points. Decliners outnumber advancers by about four-to-one on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 15 points and the Standard-and-Poor’s 500 Stock Index has lost ten points.

The market is absorbing a couple of pieces of surprising, if not stunning, information this morning.

First, the Labor Department has reported that the jobless rate rose 3/10 of 1 percent in November to 6 percent. Analysts had been forecasting an increase of just 1/10th of 1 percent. At the same time, payrolls shrank by 40,000 jobs.

The news indicates that much work still needs to be done as the economy tries to recover from last year’s recession.

Secondly, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill has announced that he’s resigning the post he has held for the past two years.

He’s expected to step down in the next few weeks, becoming the first member of the Bush Cabinet to resign.

Update hourly