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December 02, 2011 01:45 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

News today of a surprising 0.4 percent drop in the nation's unemployment rate has helped the stock market to maintain its positive posture.
The Dow is up 800 points on the week, making for its second-biggest weekly point gain in history.
  • The Labor Department says the nation's unemployment rate slipped to 8.6 percent in November. And the government's separate survey of employment, done by quizzing employers, finds that 120,000 jobs were added last month. For the first time since April 2006, the economy is said to have generated 100,000 or more jobs for five months in a row.
  • In what will likely be a pivotal week in dealing with the debt crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner travels to Europe next week for a series of meetings with leaders in Germany, France and Italy. The Obama administration has been urging European officials to take more forceful action to confront the continent's debt crisis, which threatens the global economy.
  • House GOP leaders are now struggling with divisions within their party over whether to extend a payroll tax cut, a day after the Senate stalled in its efforts to keep the tax holiday going another year. Senate votes exposed wide reluctance by Republicans to go along with the costly proposal that's a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's jobs agenda.
  • Major U.S. airlines are again trying to raise prices on many domestic flights. Delta Air Lines confirms that it had raised fares to Florida, Phoenix and Las Vegas by up to $10 per round trip. Similarly, JetBlue says that it raised fares on many U.S. routes by $6 per round trip, and US Airways Group says it has followed along.

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