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Stocks surge after jobless rate falls to 7 percent...Consumers increase spending...Sears to spin off Lands' End

Friday - 12/6/2013, 11:31am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are up sharply in early trading on Wall Street after the U.S. government reported a big increase in hiring last month. The gains are extraordinarily broad, with 98 percent of the stocks in the S&P 500 index rising. It's the first increase for the market this week.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A fourth straight month of solid hiring has cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs last month, nearly matching October's revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October. The strengthening job market is likely to fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve may start to scale back its bond purchases when it meets later this month.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers increased their spending in October even though their wages and salaries barely increased. The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in October. Wages and salaries rose a slight 0.1 percent. Overall income actually fell 0.1 percent following a 0.5 percent rise in September, but September's gain was inflated by a legal settlement that boosted farm income. The personal saving rate dipped to 4.8 percent of after-tax income in October.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- Sears Holdings Corp. says it will spin off its Lands' End clothing business as a separate company. The retailer plans to distribute shares in Lands' End to its current shareholders. Sears has spun off other businesses, including its Hometown and Sears Outlet stores, to raise cash.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Genetic testing company 23andMe says it is complying with a Food and Drug Administration directive to stop selling health-related genetic tests during a regulatory review. The FDA says the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science. The company says it will continue to provide ancestry-related information to customers and raw genetic data without interpretation.

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