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Stocks Hit 15-Month Highs Despite Rise in Unemployment

Michael La Salle
January 8th, 2010

Stocks hit 15-month highs this week despite disappointing unemployment numbers as the S&P 500 gained 2.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8%. The Labor Department announced the unemployment rate stayed at 10% in December as nonfarm payrolls dropped 85,000 in December for a total decrease of 4.2 million jobs in 2009. In mergers and acquisitions news, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis announced its plans to gain full ownership of the Switzerland eye care company Alcon. In other news, United Parcel Service raised its fourth-quarter guidance from between 58 and 65 cents per share to between 73 and 75 cents per share.