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It was a fluke. That was the conclusion investors reached about the latest US jobs report, which showed a sharp decline in hiring last month. Indexes ended mixed after wavering for much of the day. Gains were small, however, and there were signs investors were being cautious. The Labor Department said only 74,000 jobs were added to payrolls in December, the least in three years. That contrasts to weeks of reports consistent with a steadily strengthening economy. Market strategists blamed the bad jobs data on everything from the unseasonably cold weather in December to the fact that Thanksgiving came later than usual.