Markets mixed despite good jobs report

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading on Thursday. For much of the week, markets have been subdued. (Oct. 4, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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A big drop in the unemployment rate wasn't enough for investors Friday. Stocks posted gains early in the day but faded to a mixed close.

The Labor Department said the unemployment rate had declined to 7.8 percent, its first dip below 8 percent in nearly four years. The decline from 8.1 percent the month before was bigger than economists had expected.

Stocks rose on that news, but the gains didn't last. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 34.79 points to close at 13,610.15, after rising 86 points earlier Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.03 percent to 1,460.93.

Apple Inc. shares fell 2.13 percent to $652.59, dragging down the Nasdaq composite index, which fell 0.42 percent to 3,136.19.

"The jobs report today was just a validation that things are improving and that people are feeling good," said Marty Leclerc, chief investment officer of Barrack Yard Advisors. "So as investors, of course, that's when we're most apprehensive."

Despite the mixed day, the Dow managed to reach a milestone: its highest close since December 2007. The S&P is close, but not quite back to, its December 2007 high. -- AP

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