The EconomyThe Labor Department said the economy lost 125,000 nonfarm jobs in June, compared with May's upwardly revised increase of 433,000 jobs. According to consensus estimates on Briefing.com, economists had been expecting a decline of 100,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% in June from 9.7% in May, which was better than the rise to 9.8% that Wall Street had been projecting. The labor force, which includes people actively seeking work as well as current employees and impacts the monthly unemployment rate, saw a steep drop in June as 652,000 left the work force. The average work week slipped to 34.1 hours in June from 34.2, and hourly earnings declined by 0.1%, after rising 0.2% in May. Economists hadn't expected any change to the average work week and were projecting an uptick of 0.1% in hourly earnings. Stuart Hoffman, PNC chief economist, said the June report doesn't support fears of an impending double-dip recession. "The drag of the shedding of census workers will be felt for the remainder of the summer, but it will be a smaller net loss in the months ahead. Hidden underneath the dismal deadline is a gain of 83,000 private-sector workers, which was a decent increase from the 33,000 private-sector job gain in May," he said, adding that April private-sector growth was upwardly revised to 241,000, the strongest monthly gain so far this year. The Commerce Department said factory orders declined by 1.4% in May, which was much larger than the 0.6% decline that economists had been anticipating. Additionally, April's initially reported increase of 1.2% was revised down to a 1% uptick.
Company NewsThe transportation sector was the hardest hit with shares of UAL Corp ( UAUA) and Continental Airlines ( CAL) down 10.3% and 9.3%, respectively, and Delta Air Lines ( DAL) lost 5.9%. General Electric ( GE), Caterpillar ( CAT) and Bank of America ( BAC) put on the weakest performance on the Dow, while Verizon ( VZ), Microsoft ( MSFT) and Coca-Cola ( JNJ) were the session's top gainers.
Commodities and the DollarCrude oil for August delivery lost 81 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $72.14 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodity markets, the August gold contract added $1, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,207.70 an ounce. The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies, with the