Stocks Survive Big Job Losses

A second day of dismal labor market news did little to dent this week’s stock market rally, as investors continued to look past rising joblessness in hope that better times lie ahead.

The major indexes ended Friday little changed despite news that the U.S. economy shed another 80,000 jobs last month, the worst monthly Labor Department report in five years. The steady drumbeat of downbeat economic news did little to thwart investor enthusiasm this week, as the major indexes scored gains of 3-5% on the week.

The Nasdaq added 0.3% to end the week with a 4.9% gain. A trio of old favorites, Google, eBay and Amazon, gained 2.5% or more each. Google and eBay benefited from positive analyst comments.

Dell fell 3% on downgrades from analysts concerned about the pace of the company’s turnaround efforts, and Nvidia shed 6% on concern about the health of the PC market from a Longbow Research analyst.

Riverbed and Isilon fell on their results.

In late trading, Yahoo fell 5% on reports that Microsoft is getting frustrated with the pace of merger talks between the two, and BEA shareholders approved Oracle’s takeover bid.

The Nasdaq added 7 to 2370, the S&P tacked on 1 to 1370, and the Dow slipped 16 to 12,609 after once again failing to clear a key level. Volume declined to 3.63 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.98 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 17-14 margin on the NYSE, and 19-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 55% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 66-19 on the NYSE, and 59-67 on the Nasdaq.

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