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Pre-Market Primer: Job Growth Disappoints, Prior Gains Revised Down

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Traders might look at this letdown of a jobs report as a sign that the Fed's taper might be further away still.

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US job growth disappointed in July.

The US economy added just 162,000 jobs last month, missing estimates of 185,000. The unemployment rate fell from 7.6% to 7.4%. Hourly earnings actually fell by $0.02 to $23.98 after rising a dime in June. May's jobs gains were revised down to 176,000 from 195,000 and June was cut down to 188,000 from 195,000.

All industry sectors recorded job growth except for construction non-durable manufacturing, and miscellaneous services. Retail trade led job growth, adding 46,800 workers.

Another report showed that in June, personal income rose 0.3% and consumer spending rose 0.5% over the month before.

Unexpectedly good manufacturing data and initial jobless claims released earlier this week made traders and investors more upbeat this morning. Before the jobs report hit the wires, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.12% at 15,568. After breaking 1,700 for the first time yesterday, futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.12% to 1,702.30 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.25% to 3,120.50.

Later this morning, US factory orders in June are expected to show 2.3% growth, a slightly faster pace from May's 2.1%.

Commodities declined in favor of stocks today. Spot gold prices sank 1.65% to $1,289.50/ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell 0.37% to $107.49/barrel. European and Asian equity indices climbed overnight.

In pre-market trading, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) shares jumped 8.7% after the company released better-than-expected earnings. Revenue in the second quarter was up 59% from a year ago and earnings more than doubled to $44.5 million or $0.83 per share. Membership expanded 37% to 238 million. Two-thirds of user growth took place outside of the United States.

AIG (NYSE:AIG) shares rose 5% this morning after the company announced that it will resume $0.10 per share dividend payments and buy back $1 billion in stock.

Toyota (NYES:TM), the world's biggest automaker, reported that net profit nearly doubled to 562.19 billion yen in the June quarter as the weakened yen boosted the bottom line. Sales rose 13.7% to 6.25 trillion yen. Revenue in North America and emerging markets helped make up for declines in Asia and Europe.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary Motorola Mobility unveiled the Moto X smartphone, a high-end Android phone with unique features such as the ability for users to twist the phone to open the camera.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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