The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 200,000 net jobs in December. The unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. That’s a sign that the job market is slowly improving.
The euro fell to $1.2724 in late trading Friday from $1.2782 late Thursday. It fell as low as $1.2696 earlier, its lowest point since Sept. 10, 2010.
Italy is now paying over 7 percent to borrow for 10 years, a sign that investors are concerned the country could default on its debts. Many economists believe that those rates are unsustainable over the long term.