Saturday, 3 August 2013

US job growth slows, S&P 500 hits record high

The US employment report on Friday showed that the economy added 162,000 jobs in July.

Last month's increase was less than the 188,000 jobs added in June and the least in four months. It was also less than the 185,000 jobs estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Nevertheless, the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent in June.

Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent in July from the prior month and the average workweek for all workers fell to 34.4 hours from 34.5 hours.

Another report on Friday showed that US consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in June while income rose 0.3 percent.

Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent though, so real consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent.

A third report on Friday showed that US factory orders rose 1.5 percent in June, boosted by a 12 percent jump in transportation orders. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.4 percent.

Durable goods orders rose 3.9 percent while orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.9 percent.

Despite the weaker-than-expected employment numbers, investors shrugged off early losses in the market and pushed the S&P 500 up 0.2 percent by the end of the day to another record high.

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