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The major stock averages fell sharply yesterday, giving up solid gains earlier in the day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of omicron in the U.S.

 

Companies added jobs at a robust pace in November despite worries about rising inflation and the threat that the pandemic could slow growth into the winter months, according to a report from the payroll processing firm ADP. Private hiring increased by 534,000 for the month, better than estimate of 506,000 in a labor market that appears to be getting tighter. Big business led job creation by company size, but it was hospitality and leisure that led in the sectors.

 

A closely followed index of U.S.-based manufacturers rose to 61.1% in November from 60.8% in the prior month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Any number above 50% signifies growth. This is the 18th straight month in which the index has been above that level. Manufacturers — like most companies — are in an odd spot. They have plenty of demand from customers for new cars, appliances, and computers. Yet businesses can’t make enough products owing to a major shortages of labor and supplies.

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