US STOCKS-Wall St dips as jobs data fails to alarm

* Payrolls rise much less than expected
* S&P 500 faces strong resistance after two-day rally
* Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajcza

NEW YORK, Dec 3 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) edged mostly lower
on Friday as Wall Street shook off an unexpectedly weak
payrolls report, while investors were reassured by the broader
economic picture and the likelihood the Federal Reserve would
stay the course on its stimulus plan.

U.S. employment barely moved higher in November and the
jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8
percent, the Labor Department said. For details see
[ID:nN02238002]

But recent data, including retail sales and other labor
reports, have raised optimism the recovery remains on track
after hitting a soft patch in the summer.

“Every other economic data point has been constructive,”
said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated
Investors in New York.

“The market is reading through the weak jobs report to
Washington and they are drawing two conclusions — the Fed is
not going to be able to abandon quantitative easing in the
face of this weak jobs number, and if Congress thought they
could begin to raise taxes at this point in the fragility of
the economic cycle, they are sadly mistaken.”

The lack of investor alarm over the jobs report was
reflected in the CBOE Volatility Index or Vix (.VIX: ), also
known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” which shed 6.1 percent to
18.20.

A separate report on Friday showed the U.S. services
sector grew for an 11th straight month in November, according
to the Institute for Supply Management, but the government
said new U.S. factory orders dropped in October.
[ID:nN0397260] and [ID:nN0391037]

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 21.83
points, or 0.19 percent, to 11,340.58. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) dropped 2.37 points, or 0.19 percent, to
1,219.16. But the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 2.57
points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,581.92.

The S&P 500 faced strong technical resistance at about
1,228, near a recent high of more than two years and also the
61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the index’s slide from
October 2007 to March 2009, a key technical indicator.

Support for the benchmark kicks in at 1,200, which was
recently a stubborn resistance point, and near 1,195, its
14-day moving average.

Also helping to curb stocks’ decline was the euro’s gain
on Friday of more than 1 percent against the U.S. dollar to
$1.3386 (EUR=: ). In recent weeks, the euro’s moves have been
tightly coupled with U.S. and global equities.

The weaker dollar helped boost commodity-related stocks.
The S&P materials index(.GSPM: ) gained 0.3 percent, led by a
3.3 percent gain in Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N: ) to $62.37.

In company news, U.S.-based mining group Walter Energy Inc
(WLT.N: ) agreed to buy Canada’s Western Coal Corp
(WTN.TO: )(WTN.L: ) for about $3.25 billion to create the world’s
leading metallurgical coal producer. Walter added 1.2 percent
to $106.88. [ID:nLDE6B20EU]
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Wall St dips as jobs data fails to alarm