German slowdown holds back the market

Renewed worries about Europe­ overshadowed an encouraging US jobs report, leaving stock indexes about where they started. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to 341,000 last week; except for a few weeks last month, that was the lowest in nearly five years. But Germany’s economy shrank more than expected in late 2012, deepening Europe’s recession. The market has drifted this week, with little to sway investors. The calm could end, though, said Doug Cote, at ING US Investment Management. With recessions in Europe and Japan and weak US growth, ‘Everybody is too complacent,’ he said.