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The Dow Now: Verizon Dips on T-Mobile/Apple Deal

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Caterpillar and JPMorgan are among gainers of the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks started Friday's session strongly, boosted by better-than-expected November job growth numbers, but quickly pared gains after an underwhelming sentiment expectation report.

The US added 146,000 jobs in November, with the unemployment rate falling to 7.7%. Economists had expected only a gain of 93,000 and for the unemployment rate to remain at 7.9%. However, the consumer sentiment index slid to 74.5 from 82.7 for December, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey. The consensus had been a reading of 82.4.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.28% to 13,110.04 points as of 12:15 p.m. EST.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) lead all Dow stocks, jumping 1.84% to $42.24 after news reports that the bank's investment-bank division bonus pool will fall by 2%. Though that will not come as welcome news to employees there, industry observers consider the number healthy relative to peers like Citigroup (NYSE:C), which plans to cut bonuses by as much as 10%.

"If the JPM bonus pool only shrinks 2% this year, then I'd say that those guys, and women, are the luckiest folks on earth," Nancy Bush, an analyst and contributing editor at SNL Financial LC, a bank-research firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, told Bloomberg. "I expected much more shrinkage."

Fellow Dow financials Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) (+0.86%) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) (+0.53%) also inched up on the day. The bellwether Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLF), which tracks all financial stocks in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), was up 0.50% to $15.98.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) was also up a robust 1.64% to $87.36. Having fallen some 8% since mid-September because of fiscal cliff worries, the economically-sensitive stock has upside potential when a deal is reached in Washington, say analysts.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) was one of the heaviest Dow decliners, falling 0.72% to $44.13. On Thursday, rival T-Mobile (PINK:DTEGY) announced it had signed an agreement with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to launch common products in 2013, all but signifying that the iPhone, which had previously been available only on Verizon, AT&T (NYSE:T) and Sprint (NYSE:S), would be heading to T-Mobile as well in the near future.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) also dipped 0.51% to $25.48. Yesterday, the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, ruled against the pharmaceutical giant's advanced kidney cancer drug, Inlyta, in a preliminary decision. The agency questioned the drug's cost effectiveness even though Pfizer had offered the National Health Service a discount.

"Before we recommend any new treatment we have to be sure the evidence on how well it works is robust and that it is cost effective," NICE CEO Andrew Dillon said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. "We do not want to divert NHS funds to a treatment that costs more but doesn't help people live longer."

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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