Unemployment report spurs early rally for stock market

NEW YORK – An early rally fizzled Friday on Wall Street but still left the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 7.4 percent for the week, its biggest gain since March 2009.

A surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate sent stocks higher in early trading, but the gains faded during the afternoon.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.61 of a point to close at 12,019.42. The Dow ended the week up 7 percent, the largest weekly gain since July 2009.

Bank stocks rose sharply, continuing a weeklong rally. JPMorgan Chase & Co. jumped 6.1 percent, the most among the 30 stocks in the Dow average. Morgan Stanley leapt 6.9 percent, the second-biggest gain of any stock in the S&P 500 index.

European stock indexes and the euro rose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a speech pushing for tighter rules on government spending.

The Nasdaq composite index inched up 0.73 to 2,626.93. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.31 of a point to 1,244.28. The S&P surged 7.4 percent over the week, the most since March 2009.

Franken wants investigation of software on cellphones

SAN FRANCISCO – Technology bloggers are asking if our phones are spying on us after a security researcher said a piece of software hidden on millions of cellphones was recording virtually everything people do with their phones.

Amid a broad outcry, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is calling for an investigation. A lawsuit has been filed against the company behind the software, CarrierIQ Inc.

The software appears to be relatively innocuous. It does keep track of what owners of Sprint Nextel Corp. and AT&T Inc. phones do with them, including what they type and the numbers they dial.

But it doesn’t seem to transmit every keystroke. Instead, it kicks into action when there’s some sort of problem and lets the phone company know.

Panel subpoenas Corzine about role with MF Global

WASHINGTON – A congressional panel has subpoenaed former Sen. Jon Corzine to testify next week about his role leading MF Global, a brokerage firm that collapsed this fall after a disastrous bet on European debt.

The Dec. 8 hearing will be a rare moment in Washington. Congressional historians and Capitol Hill insiders can’t recall another time when a former member of Congress was summoned by his former peers to testify about a matter under federal investigation.

The House Agriculture Committee voted Friday to issue the subpoena after Corzine failed to reply to an informal request to appear at the hearing.

Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said his testimony is “essential to fulfill our objectives.”

Hours later, the head of the Senate Agriculture Committee called for subpoenas to be issued to Corzine and other MF Global executives to appear by Dec. 13 at that panel, if they don’t agree to come voluntarily.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31. Corzine resigned as chairman and CEO a few days later. In just a week, stock investors lost an estimated $585 million.

— From news service reports