Business news for Friday, December 6

Apple store at Quakerbridge Mall (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Square NJ)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average has been up as much as 200 points today after the U.S. government reported a big increase in hiring last month. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Nasdaq composite are also sharply higher. Employers added 203,000 jobs in November, the fourth straight month of solid growth, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A longtime adviser to the director of national intelligence has resigned, after the government learned he was a paid consultant to a Chinese tech company considered an espionage threat. Theodore Moran is an expert on China's international investment who served on the intelligence director's advisory panel on foreign investment and advised the National Intelligence Council. He withdrew from those roles after Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf complained about his work for Huawei (WAH'-way) Technologies.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — AT&T says it isn't required to tell shareholders what it does with customers' communications. Several shareholders are demanding more transparency, amid complaints that the telecom giant has been sharing and selling information to federal intelligence agencies. AT&T says it protects customer information and complies with government requests for records "only to the extent required by law."

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Barnes & Noble are falling after the bookseller said it was cooperating in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into its accounting. The SEC told the bookseller in October that it was investigating the company's restatement of earnings announced in July as well as an employee allegation that it improperly allocated some information-technology expenses between its Nook and retail segments. The struggling retailer disclosed the news yesterday in its quarterly report.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is letting wind energy companies apply for 30-year permits that would excuse them for killing, injuring or harassing eagles at wind farms and other projects. Companies already can apply for 5-year permits, but the wind energy industry asked for the change. It will provide legal protection for companies that get a permit and do everything possible to avoid killing eagles.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fourth straight month of solid hiring has cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs last month, nearly matching October's revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their spending in October even though their wages and salaries barely increased. The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in October. Wages and salaries rose a slight 0.1 percent. Overall income actually fell 0.1 percent following a 0.5 percent rise in September, but September's gain was inflated by a legal settlement that boosted farm income. The personal saving rate dipped to 4.8 percent of after-tax income in October.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp. says it will spin off its Lands' End clothing business as a separate company. The retailer plans to distribute shares in Lands' End to its current shareholders. Sears has spun off other businesses, including its Hometown and Sears Outlet stores, to raise cash.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Genetic testing company 23andMe says it is complying with a Food and Drug Administration directive to stop selling health-related genetic tests during a regulatory review. The FDA says the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science. The company says it will continue to provide ancestry-related information to customers and raw genetic data without interpretation.

NEW YORK (AP) — Increasingly good news about the U.S. economy is sending shivers down the spines of many Wall Street traders who believe the encouraging signs will push the Federal Reserve closer to pulling back on its stimulus. The S&P 500 index dropped for the fifth time in a row yesterday, losing eight points. The Dow fell 68 and the Nasdaq ended down five points. Futures point to some gains at this morning's opening.

BANGKOK (AP) — International stock markets advanced today but gains were held in check as investors awaited a U.S. jobs report that could solidify expectations about when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its expansive stimulus. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remained above $97 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.

WASHINGTON — Investors are anxiously awaiting the government's release of November's employment data today. It comes on the last day of trading and could move the markets. Also today, the Commerce Department releases October's personal income and spending numbers and the Federal Reserve will report consumer credit data for October.

WASHINGTON (AP) — If the latest survey of economists is correct, the government employment data due out today may finally show the job market shifting gears. Economists surveyed by FactSet predict November was the fourth straight month of solid hiring, with 180,000 jobs added. The survey predicts unemployment was down to 7.2 percent from 7.3.

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is ready to hold customers' hands when they visit the Apple store -- electronically of course. Apple Inc. will begin using the iBeacon technology today at its 254 U.S. stores to send messages about products, events and other information — tailored to where a person is inside. Users will have to download the app for that.


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