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It's All About Jobs

Investors are nervously anticipating Friday and the release of the latest jobs data. How should you positioned yourself ahead of the numbers?

According to Reuters estimates, expect to hear that job losses in the United States slowed sharply in November, cushioned by seasonal adjustments and the budding economic recovery.

Analysts said even without seasonal factors, there should be clear signs that the labor market is edging toward stability and the deterioration in nonfarm payrolls was in its final stages.

Nuts & Bolts

A survey of 72 economists forecast U.S. employers cut 130,000 jobs this month after reducing payrolls by 190,000 in October. While this would be the smallest decline since July last year, it would also mark the 23rd straight monthly drop in payrolls.

The unemployment rate, which is derived from the Labor Department's survey of households, was seen steady at a 26-1/2 year high of 10.2 percent.

“We’re looking for unemployment to peak between 10.2 and 10.5” says Barclays economist Michelle Meyer on Fast Money, “but we don’t see it falling for a while.”

The Implications

A drop in the pace of job losses this month will likely be seen as more proof that the economic recovery is gathering momentum. It will also help to ease fears over the durability of a recovery that is seen as being largely driven by government spending.

Analysts will also scrutinize November's employment report to see if companies continued to hire temporary workers -- they'll also watch the average workweek which should rise to 33.1 hours in November from 30 hours the previous month - a bullish expectation.


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Trader disclosure: On November 30th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Finerman's Firm Owns (PLCE), (MSFT), (WMT), (PDE), (RIG), (TGT); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC), (BAC) Calls; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY), (USO), (UNG); Najarian Owns (AAPL) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BRCD) & (BRCD) Calls; Najarian Owns (INTC) & Short (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (DELL) Calls; Najarian Owns (DE) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (FCX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) & (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (UAUA) Call Spread; Terranova Owns (SU), (GOOG), (AAPL)

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