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US firms still finding workers despite low jobless rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — American businesses have complained for years that they can’t find the workers they need to fill available jobs. November’s robust hiring gain suggests that at least some companies have found a way, squelching fears of a recession. New numbers show U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs last month, the most since January. Monthly hiring also has picked up since earlier this year: It averaged 205,000 for the past three months, up from a recent low of 135,000 in July.

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S&P notches weekly gain as jobs growth blows past forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street after the government reported that employers added far more jobs than expected in November. Friday’s rally pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by more than 300 points and erased the S&P 500’s losses from earlier in the week. The S&P 500 notched its second straight weekly gain. The surprisingly good employment picture comes at the end of what started as a rough week for the market. Technology, financial and industrial stocks were big winners. The solid jobs report sent bond prices lower, pushing yields higher.

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State AGs look to head off T-Mobile-Sprint deal in court

NEW YORK (AP) — T-Mobile is about to face 14 state attorneys general in court in defence of its attempt to buy Sprint for $26.5 billion. T-Mobile has already notched approvals from key federal regulators. Starting Monday, it must also convince a federal judge that the state attempt to block the deal is misguided. A combined T-Mobile-Sprint company would become a fiercer competitor to the larger Verizon and AT&T. But the states argue that having one fewer mobile carrier would cost Americans billions of dollars in higher wireless phone bills. The trial in U.S. District Court in New York is expected to last several weeks.

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China waiving tariff hikes on US soybeans, pork

BEIJING (AP) — China’s finance ministry says Beijing is waiving tariff hikes on U.S. soybeans and pork while the two sides negotiate a trade deal. China promised in September to lift the tariffs but no details were released. The finance ministry said Friday that Beijing is “carrying out the exclusion” but gave no details. Negotiators are working on details of a “Phase 1” agreement announced in October by President Donald Trump. The promise to waive tariffs was one of a series of conciliatory gestures made by both sides that raised hopes for a settlement.

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Uber weighs next steps after jarring sex assault report

NEW YORK (AP) — A day after Uber revealed that more than 3,000 riders and drivers were sexually assaulted last year, attention is turning to what’s next for the ride-hailing giant. Some observers question whether the company’s plans to improve safety go far enough. Uber’s report was hailed by victims’ rights organizations. But it’s unclear whether the transparency will help rebuild trust or backfire by showing customers how deep the safety problems go. Uber has rolled out safety features including an in-app emergency button and the ability for riders and drivers to share their location with loved ones.

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Trump asks Supreme Court to shield banking records for now

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and three of his children are asking the Supreme Court to shield records held by Deutsche Bank and Capital One from House Democrats. The case from New York is similar to two other cases pending before the justices, a subpoena from the House for Trump’s financial records and one from the Manhattan district attorney for his tax returns. The court already has blocked the House from getting the financial records while it considers what to do with the cases. Without a Supreme Court order, the banks would have to begin turning over records to House committees next week.

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Consumer borrowing increases with higher credit card use

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers ramped up their credit card spending in October. The Federal Reserve said Friday that total consumer borrowing rose in October by a seasonally adjusted $18.9 billion. That was up from a September increase of $9.6 billion. The biggest increase in borrowing in three months was driven by a jump in use of credit cards. Borrowing the Fed’s category that includes credit cards rose by $7.9 billion.

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OPEC countries, Russia to cut oil output, pushing up prices

VIENNA (AP) — The OPEC oil-producing countries and ally Russia have agreed to cut crude production by an extra 500,000 barrels a day. Their goal is to to support the price of fuel and energy around the world. But at the same time they do not want to lose global market share to the United States, which keeps pumping more oil. Friday’s decision came after long talks at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna. Russia is not part of OPEC but has been co-ordinating production levels with the cartel in recent years.

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The S&P 500 rose 28.48 points, or 0.9%, to 3,145.91. The Dow climbed 337.27 points, or 1.2%, to 28,015.06. The Nasdaq gained 85.83 points, or 1%, to 8,656.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 19 points, or 1.2%, to 1,633.84.

The Associated Press