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Stocks End Mixed, Employment Tops Esimates

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Stocks End Mixed, Employment Tops Esimates

Stocks in the US started the trading session in the red as investors absorbed Tuesday’s which snapped a three-day losing streak. Automatic Data Processing released their private payroll estimate which came in better than expected. It is clear that there is pressure on the government to continue to find issues that occurred during the financial crisis. Stocks closed the session mixed with the Dow and the S&P 500 lower and the Nasdaq notching up a gain.

ADP reported that private payrolls increased 238,000 which were better than the 200K expected by economists. November was revised higher to 229K up 14K from the prior month’s estimate. The service sector, which was the largest contributor to the private payroll report, produced 170K jobs while the goods sector increased by 38,000. ADP has produced a number greater than 200,000 for three consecutive months.

Stronger than expected retail sales data released in Europe failed to buoy stocks. The European Union’s statistics agency Wednesday said retail sales rose by 1.4% from October and were 1.6% higher than in November 2012. That was the largest rise in a single month since November 2001.

The SEC continues to probe several major banks over whether they cheated clients by deliberately mis-pricing residential mortgage bonds from 2009-2011 after the financial crisis hit. Most of the usual suspects are under investigation, including JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) , Citigroup (NYSE:C) , Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) .

The movement to extend jobless benefits continued to make its way through the congress. The Senate has passed a procedural motion that will allow the chamber to start debating a proposal to renew benefits for the long-term jobless by three months at a cost of more than 6 billion. The benefits expired last month, affecting 1.3M people.

For the second consecutive session the Nasdaq climbed despite negative momentum seen from the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index. The divergence should be a concern to traders.

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