Stocks swing widely Euro, economy fears spreads

EDISON - Don't look away for too long. You might miss a market rally. Ora plunge. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 80 points after beingdown as many as 245 points on Friday. It had been up by as many as171 points after a solid jobs report in the morning. Many investors fear that Europe's spreading debt crisis mightreach U.S. banks and threaten the fragile economy. A stronger jobsreport early Friday did little to reassure investors, a day afterthe Dow's worst decline since 2008. Among the issues investors are most concerned about: Europe'sgrowing financial crisis; hiring in the U.S. that is too slow tosignificantly lower the unemployment rate; anemic growth inmanufacturing and the service sector and a decline in consumerspending; and the belief that the government is unlikely to spendmore to stimulate the economy. European leaders have interrupted their summer vacations foremergency meetings. They are trying to craft a plan that wouldprevent Italy or Spain from becoming the latest country in theregion to require large-scale financial help. The two countries have Europe's third and fourth largesteconomies. But European leaders and central bankers might not havethe cash needed to prop them up until a larger financial rescuefund can be established by a broader group of financial leaders. The U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July, and hiring in Mayand June were not as bad as reported previously, the LaborDepartment reported. The unemployment rate inched down to 9.1percent from 9.2 percent, partly because some unemployed workersstopped looking for work. Health care providers and manufacturersadded jobs. Fears about the broader economy are outweighing the improvedjobs report and strong corporate earnings, said Dan Greenhaus,chief global strategist at the trading firm BTIG. "From an economic standpoint, 117,000 jobs is hardly sufficientto boost the economy," he said. He said it is impossible to tellhow long the nervousness will affect the market, but he said itwill more likely be years than months. About twice as many jobs as that must be created every month inorder to rapidly reduce the unemployment rate. It has been above 9percent nearly every month since the recession officially ended inJune 2009. Many economists fear that the economy might dip backinto recession.

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