Stocks Opened Slightly Lower after Jobs Report

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday as investors digested a jobs report that came in weaker than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 27.38 points, or 0.17%, to 16,535.92. The S&P 500 was up 0.10 point, or 0.01%, to 1,930.77. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5.37 points, or 0.12%, to 4,375.14.

U.S. job growth slowed in July and an unexpected rise in the unemployment rate pointed to some slack in the labor market that could give the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while.  Nonfarm payrolls increased 209,000 last month after surging by 298,000 in June, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate ticked up in July to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent as more Americans started looking for work.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed inflation retreating in June. A price index for consumer spending, excluding food and energy, edged up 0.1 percent after gaining 0.2 percent in May.

Ford’s said it sold 211,467 light vehicles last month, up from 193,080 a year earlier, as Escape SUV sales soared 19 percent to its best July ever. Chrysler’s deliveries jumped 20 percent as Jeep also recorded its best July on a 41 percent surge by the sport-utility vehicle brand. Nissan reported an 11 percent advance in sales to 121,452 for the month.

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) said its fourth-quarter profit rose 38%. P&G reported a profit of $2.58 billion, or 89 cents a share, up from $1.88 billion, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales edged down 0.1% to $20.18 billion.

California announced Thursday that the 1.2 million Californians insured through the state-run ObamaCare exchange will face just a 4.2 percent premium increase next year.

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