Friday, December 3, 2010 – 10:30 a.m.

This mornings grim news on the economy was no surprise here.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor the national unemployment rate climbed to 9.8% in November. Up from 9.6% in October.

The net number of jobs added? A paltry 39,000, of which, most were temporary positions likely to leave the workforce after the holiday season ends.

On another front, interest rates on U.S. Treasuries continue to climb, in particular the 10-year note.

The rate on the 10-year note, a benchmark for mortgage rates, which was just 2.58% on September 1 has now climbed to 3.01% as of yesterday.

A bad omen for once again falling home prices.

Wasn’t the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program involving the purchase of securities meant to push rates down?

Wasn’t the economy supposed to be improving?

Why do weekly new claims for unemployment benefits keep getting revised upward for the previous week?

Stock markets continue to look for any grain of positive news to sustain gains.

Those grains appear to be disappearing.