Dec. 07 - Summary Business Headlines: Strong job gains outweighed by drop in consumer confidence, fiscal cliff concerns and downdraft from Apple, High Court to review same-sex marriage; AMR pilots approve contract. Carmen Roberts reports.
Consumer confidence plunges and Washington stays deadlocked on the fiscal cliff. Together they outweighed enthusiasm on Wall Street about the better-than-expected jobs report. The Dow and S&P 500 had modest gains for the day. The Nasdaq fell 11 points. For the week the Dow gained one percent. The Nasdaq lost one percent. Employers hired more Americans than expected in November, as Superstorm Sandy failed to make a substantial impact on the jobs market. The economy gained 146,000 jobs in November. Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent. That's mostly because more people gave up the hunt. Meantime, many Americans feel Washington is not trying hard enough. House Speaker John Boehner said Friday no progress has been made on avoiding the fiscal cliff. Economist Stephen Gallagher at Societe Generale says Americans are getting disgusted with the deadlock. SOUNDBITE: STEPHEN GALLAGHER, DIRECTOR OR RESEARCH, SOCIETE GENERALE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm actually somewhat optimistic that both parties can reach an agreement here, and it's not because there's a lot of goodwill and bipartisanship underway. I think there's a lot of public and voter pressure on our elected officials to come to an agreement." Apple was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 Friday. The largest company by market value had its worst week since May 2010. Shares lost nine percent for the week over concerns it will lose tablet market share. Tablets and smartphones have made social media the hottest way to communicate, but the Securities and Exchange Commission does not see it that way. The SEC is considering taking action against Netflix for disseminating company information on Facebook. Meantime, the union for American Airlines pilots used its Twitter account to announce pilots approved a new contract. That puts the carrier one step closer to exiting its year-long bankruptcy. And social policy is the topic of the moment for the Supreme Court. It agreed Friday to take on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. In Europe: shares ended mixed on the US economic data and the uncertainty over Europe's financial future.