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The signs of a robust jobs market could ease concerns about the health of the economy, which were underscored by other reports on Tuesday showing a drop in small business confidence in January to a two-year low and further declines in wholesale inventories. "If the labor market is tightening, can the economy really be faltering?" said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. The so-called JOLTS report is among the data watched by Federal Reserve officials to get a pulse on both the labor market and inflation.
The major U.S. stock indexes moved modestly higher in late-afternoon trading Monday after spending much of the day veering between gains and losses. Materials and health care stocks were among the biggest gainers, while energy stocks fell the most following another steep slump in crude oil prices.
By James Oliphant and Amanda Becker MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Donald Trump battled to stay ahead of a charging field of Republican rivals in New Hampshire on Tuesday and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders sought a big win over Hillary Clinton as long lines of voters suggested a heavy turnout for the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Trump, a New York billionaire, and Sanders, a Vermont senator and democratic socialist, were favored to win their races, riding a wave of voter anger at traditional politicians seeking their parties' presidential nomination. Trump was under pressure to deliver a victory after he was beaten in the first nominating contest - the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 - by Texas Senator Ted Cruz despite having had a big lead in pre-caucus polls.