Traders were cautious ahead of the U.S. jobs report due tomorrow morning. And a weekly report of the number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits didn’t help. Americans filed 402,000 new claims last week, higher than economists expected.
But major auto makers reported strong U.S. sales last month, boosted by demand for sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks. Chrysler reported sales rose 45% while Nissan's sales rose 19%, Ford up 13% and General Motors nearly 7% over the same month a year ago.
Major retailers deliver mixed sales reports for November, suggesting an iffy start to the holiday season. The month is a key one for retailers, which see their biggest sales at this time of the year.