for November also surprised the market, rising 1.5%. Economists had expected a 0.2% dip from October's level.
Earlier, the Eurostat said November's unemployment rate in the 16-nation
rose to the highest level since August 1998 at 10%, up marginally from 9.9% in October.
The FTSE in London was up by 0.1% and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.3%. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.1% and Japan's Nikkei was higher by 1.1%.
The U.S. dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down 0.6%.
In commodities markets, the February gold contract settled at $1,138.90 an ounce after adding $5.20, while crude oil for February delivery gained 9 cents to settle at $82.75 a barrel.
(UPS - Get Report)
, which is considered to be an important economic indicator because it moves U.S. and global GDP through its system, raised its fourth-quarter guidance to between 73 cents and 75 cents a share, citing improved shipping volumes. Its stock rose $2.76, or 4.8%, to $60.17.
The UPS news, combined with a strengthening railroad sector, helped take the entire transportation realm higher, as the Dow Jones Transportation Average advanced 2.1%.
surged 8%, adding $1.28 to $17.35 on two separate upgrades that cited higher steel prices and improving volumes. Stocks of steel companies rose on the news with
AK Steel Holding
(AKS - Get Report)
United States Steel
up by 9.3% and 7.3%, respectively.
Investment bankers at
Bank of America
(BAC - Get Report)
are likely to get
that are similar to 2007 levels, according to
The Wall Street Journal
(APOL - Get Report)
reported higher first-quarter earnings on improved enrollment rates, but shares slipped after the company said the Department of Education has been looking into its financial aid policies. The stock fell $3.44, or 5.4%, at $60.50.
--Written by Melinda Peer and Sung Moss in New York