Stocks Start Lower after Payroll Report

U.S. stocks opened lower on Friday after the government reported the U.S. economy added less workers than expected in July and the unemployment rate fell to 7.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately was off 57.55 points, or 0.37%, at 15,570.47. The S&P 500 index declined 5.03 points, or 0.29%, to 1,701.84. The Nasdaq Composite shed 9.86 points, or 0.27%, to 3,665.88.

U.S. employers slowed their pace of hiring in July but the jobless rate fell anyway, mixed signals that could make the U.S. Federal Reserve more cautious about drawing down its huge economic stimulus program. The number of jobs outside the farming sector increased by 162,000, the Labor Department said on Friday.

U.S. consumer spending increased and inflation pushed higher in June. The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending rose 0.5 percent, lifted by automobile purchases and higher gasoline prices. May’s increase was revised down to 0.2 percent from a previously reported 0.3 percent.

Chevron’s latest quarterly profit was huge — $5.37 billion — but down 26 percent from last year due to lower oil prices and
maintenance work at some refineries. Chevron Corp. said Friday that it earned $2.77 per share in the second quarter, down from
$3.66 per share. Year-ago net income was $7.21 billion.

Dell Inc’s(NSQ:DELL) special committee and the buyout group led by company founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell are close to an agreement that would help clear passage of the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

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