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Market Hesitates to Do Anything Before Jobs Report


The October jobs report put a cloud over Wall Street Thursday, even though the actual results won't be out until Friday morning.

This jobs number is taking on added significance because the Federal Reserve is warning that a December interest-rate increase is possible. A strong jobs number would only fuel expectations of rate hike--the first in nearly a decade--next month.

"With the market pricing in a better-than-evens chance of a Fed rate hike in December, October payrolls take on added importance," BNP Paribas analysts wrote in a note.

With this kind of uncertainty, stocks had a hard time doing much of anything. The S&P 500 fell just 0.06%, the Nasdaq declined 0.23%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.02%.

Expectations are that 205,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month, which would be significantly higher than the previous two months.

Worries about a rate hike...