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MarketWatch for Thursday, December 5, 2013

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Thursday, December 5, 2013...
If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning,  Thursday, December 5,  2013...

The Nikkei lost 230 points today in trading in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, the Dow lost 25 points Wednesday.
And the Nasdaq edged up about a point.

The stock market is on pace for its first losing week in a month. Some conflicting reports about the strength of the economy have left investors unsure about just when the fed will start pulling back its stimulus program. The Fed's next policy meeting is in two weeks.

The government releases weekly unemployment claims today. On Wednesday, a private survey found that last month  U.S. businesses  added the most jobs in a year. Tomorrow, the Labor Department will release the November unemployment figures.

It turns out the 16 day partial government shutdown didn't hurt the overall economy after all. A Federal Reserve survey shows the economy held steady during the shutdown in most of its 12 banking districts. Manufacturing strengthened and consumers boosted spending in most regions and hiring improved in five of the districts.

Two titans in the tech world are teaming up to help bring high speed broadband to every school in the U.S. Microsoft's Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg have contributed a combined $9 million from their respective foundations to a non-for-profit group that is working to improve connectivity in schools. The White House hopes to have 99 percent of students connected to superfast internet within five years.

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