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Markets Give Back Recent Gains After Jobs Report

The S&P 500 gave back some of its impressive year-to-date gains last week after a weaker-than-expected jobs report stoked fears among investors that the economic recovery in the United States is still not quite as strong as it could be. The Department of Labor announced on Friday that 115,000 jobs were created in April. Although this number was below expectations, the unemployment rate did drop to just 8.1 percent. In addition, the employment numbers for both February and March were revised upward, which gave some solace to investors who were expecting a better jobs report this month.

Markets Fall Despite Positive News on Jobless Claims and Consumer Confidence

Despite several pieces of good economic news, equity markets in the United States suffered their second week of losses as the continued uncertainty in Europe and an unexpected $2 billion trading loss by the investment bank JP Morgan led investors to take some profits off the table. The job market showed signs of life this week when the Department of Labor announced that initial jobless claims1came in at just 370,000. Although this number was unchanged from last week's report, it did remain under the critical 400,000 level, which leads us to believe that employment growth may improve in the months ahead.

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