Stocks slightly higher…ADP finds healthy jobs gains…Workers’ wages, benefits slow slightly
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are slightly higher in morning trading on Wall Street led by gains in Apple and other technology companies. Apple jumped in early trading after reporting results last night. Traders are encouraged to see that Apple sales in China have stabilized despite the worsening rhetoric between Washington and Beijing over trade. Traders will be closely watching for a possible rate cut announcement from the Federal Reserve this afternoon.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A private survey finds U.S. companies added a healthy 156,000 jobs in July. Payroll processor ADP says larger firms accounted for most of the gains with solid hiring in the construction, transportation, health care and in the leisure and hospitality sectors. But after years of robust job growth, smaller companies struggled to find talent and businesses that have fewer than 20 employees shed workers. ADP’s figures don’t include government hiring and frequently diverge from the government’s official report, which is scheduled to be released Friday.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. workers saw their annual wages and benefits rise in the second quarter at a slightly slower pace than they did in the first quarter. It’s a possible indication that the lowest unemployment levels in a half century are not triggering rapid gains in workers’ compensation. The Labor Department says pay and benefits for all U.S. workers increased 2.7% in the second quarter as compared with a year earlier. That’s down from the 2.8% rise in the first quarter.
BOSTON (AP) – General Electric swung to a loss during the second quarter, but the outlook has improved as they continue to work on their troubled power division. Meanwhile, they took a hit from the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes. GE helps make the engines for the Max planes and announced it lost $300 million in the second quarter and anticipates losing $400 million per quarter in the second half of the year if the groundings continue.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a North Carolina county got scammed when criminals posing as representatives of a construction contractor tricked county workers into transferring about $2.5 million into a bogus account. The money was meant for construction of a new high school in the Cabarrus (kuh-BEHR’-uhs) County. A bank managed to freeze some of the transfer once officials realized they were being scammed, but about $1.7 million remains missing. The FBI says email scams targeting business accounts are on the rise.