Hiring inches up in December, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) settles suit and Shell to cut Canadian jobs.

Markets were heading lower on Friday after data was released that showed there was a growth in U.S. hiring but wages did not follow suit. The Labor Department showed that there an addition of 252,000 new jobs in December. There was also an upward revision of November’s data to show gains of 353,000. There a drop of 0.2% in the jobless rate to 5.6%. This marks a 6 and a half-year low for the data. The small shadow on the data released today was an unexpected drop in wages. There was a decline of 0.2% or five-cents. An analyst with JPMorgan, Michael Feroli, said, “There is no obvious fundamental economic factor that would contribute to today’s number. We are disposed to view this decline as a one-off.”

Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) were sinking down over 1.4% after the company agreed to pay $500 million to settle a class action suit against them. The suit was tied to the sale of Bear Stearns’. The banking giant purchased Bear Stearns in 2008 for $17.58 billion at the height of the financial crisis. JPMorgan will be paying the money to investors. The most recent data about this this suit said that Bear sold certificates that were backed by over 47,000 subprime and low documentation mortgage’s.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) were sinking after the company announced that they would be cutting between 5% and 10% of their job force at a Canadian mining project. The company said they have plans to let go of roughly 3,000 jobs at their Alberta Albian Sands mining project. They did not tie the cuts to the recent sinking oil prices. Cameron Yost, a spokesman for the company, said, “It’s not layoffs in the traditional sense of the word. It’s adjustments to the organizational structure.

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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