Updated from 5:55 a.m. ET
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, Aug. 4:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to mild gains for Wall Street on Friday, Aug. 4, ahead of the U.S. jobs report for July.
The U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for July will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. to have added 180,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4.3%, matching May's 16-year low, from 4.4% in June.
Hourly earnings were expected to rise 0.3% month on month, picking up from a 0.2% growth rate in June. Year over year, hourly earnings growth was targeted by economists to have held at 2.5%.
Income growth will be one of the most important indicators in the U.S. Labor Department's monthly employment report.
While the current jobless rate of 4.4% is less than half its 2009 peak, salaries are growing less than 3% from one year to the next and inflation -- a measure of U.S. economic growth -- has slowed 40 basis points this year to 1.5%. That's well behind the 2% the Federal Reserve said would indicate stable expansion and help justify continuing to boost interest rates.
"The big story just comes down to how much slack there is in the labor market and what that means for wages," said Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist for Bank of America, who predicted expansion might slow to 2.4% from a year ago.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday also includes International Trade for June at 8:30 a.m.
2. -- Toyota Motor Co. (TM) - Get Report plans to take a stake in rival Mazda Motor Corp. (MZDAY) and the Japanese automakers said they will jointly invest in a new U.S. production plant that could create 4,000 new jobs.
The $1.6 billion facility, when completed in 2021, will be capable of producing as many as 300,000 cars a year, the companies said. Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Ky., has the capacity to make 550,000 cars a year.
The plant will make Toyota Corollas for the North American market. Mazda said it would produce cross-over models at the facility that it plans to introduce to that market.
Japan's Nikkei news organization first reported Friday that Toyota was planning to take a 5% stake in Mazda as part of a previously stated plan to develop clean-energy and self-driving vehicle technologies. The two groups confirmed the purchase Friday and said they would combine to invest in a U.S. plant under a cooperation agreement the two companies first revealed in May 2015.
"The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda. "It has also sparked Toyota's competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda."
- Toyota and Mazda Set to Invest $1.6 Billion in U.S. Plant; Create 4,000 Jobs
3. -- Speaking of Toyota, the world's second-largest carmaker posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Friday and raised its fiscal full-year outlook for profit and revenue.
Toyota raised its profit forecast for the year that ends in March 2018 to ¥1.75 trillion ($16 billion), higher than its earlier forecast of ¥1.5 trillion yen. The company said it expects revenue for the year of ¥28.5 trillion yen.
Net profit in the first quarter rose 11% as global sales jumped in the period. Toyota said it sold 2.2 million vehicles during the quarter, an improvement of 42,000 from a year earlier.
Earnings are also expected Friday from Newell Brands Inc. (NWL) - Get Report , CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE) - Get Report , Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) - Get Report and Potbelly Corp. (PBPB) - Get Report .
5. -- Shares of Viacom Inc. (VIAB) - Get Report fell 7.8% in after-hours trading on Thursday, Aug. 3, after the Comedy Central and Paramount owner cautioned that its current quarter revenue would likely disappoint as affiliate fees slowed.
The price decline indicated Viacom shares would open at $32.32, the lowest since 2010, despite the company posting better-than-expected earnings for its third fiscal quarter as revenue topped analysts' forecasts.
Viacom posted third-quarter earnings of $1.17 per share, beating Wall Street forecasts as revenue rose 8.3% to $3.36 billion. However, the company said it expects to see slower affiliate payments in the current quarter, owing in part to a spat with Charter Communications Inc., its biggest business partner, which recently relegated Viacom's MTV and Comedy Central channels to a less-lucrative tier within its cable packages.
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