Stocks mixed…Survey: US companies added a solid 163,000 jobs…Productivity up
NEW YORK (AP) – Stock indexes are mixed in morning trading on Wall Street after two days of losses. Retailers and industrial companies are rising, while energy and technology companies slip. Facebook fell 1.3 percent and Micron Technology lost 4.2 percent. United Technologies rose 1.4 percent and Netflix rebounded 2.8 percent after a big drop yesterday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey finds that U.S. businesses added 163,000 jobs in August. Payroll processor ADP says the job gains were the fewest since October, but still enough to lower unemployment over time. The economy is expanding at a healthy pace, spurred by tax cuts and robust consumer spending. The ADP figures come a day before the government will release its official employment data for August.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. services companies grew at a faster pace in August as business activity and new orders rebounded. The Institute for Supply Management says that its services index rose to 58.5 last month from 55.7 in July. Readings above 50 signal an expanding economy. The services sector, where most Americans are employed, has now grown for 103 straight months, or more than eight years.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Labor Department is affirming last month’s report that U.S. productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter. The jump in productivity followed a tepid 0.3 percent gain in the first quarter. Labor costs slipped 1 percent in the April-June quarter, instead of the 0.9 percent that was initially reported. Separately, the Labor Department said Thursday that 203,000 people applied for jobless benefits last week, the lowest level since December 1969.
DETROIT (AP) – Ford is recalling about 2 million F-150 pickups in North America because the seat belts can cause fires. The recall covers certain trucks from the 2015 through 2018 model years. The company says it has 23 reports of smoke or fire in the U.S. and Canada, but it’s not aware of any injuries. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the fires last month after getting five reports. Fires destroyed three trucks.