The July jobs report fell decidedly short of estimates. The Labor Department says there were 162,000 new jobs added during the month, Expectations had been for a gain of between 180,000 to 185,000 new jobs and the whisper numbers were closer to 200,000. The unemployment rate did surprise by dropping .2% to 7.4% but that was due at least in part to a falling participation rate. Yahoo! Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task and Breakout host Matt Nesto join host Larren Lyster for their instant analysis of the numbers in the video above.
Futures were flat ahead of this report. Both the Dow and the S&P are coming off a record-high close, with the broader index shooting past 1,700 for the first time.
We're learning more earnings at this hour, with a number of companies reporting for the quarter. First, Viacom (VIA) had a mixed report. It posted earnings of $1.29 a share which missed by a penny, but revenue exceeded expectations at $3.69 billion dollars. Host Hotels (HST) beat on earnings with 45-cents a share, a nickel better than expected. Revenue however was a slight miss. And we've just gotten numbers for U.S. Cellular (USM) which blew away estimates earning $1.69 a share, compared to last year when profits were 62-cents, and estimates for this quarter had been just 12-cents. Revenue came in under consensus.
STOCKS TO WATCH
Dell (DELL) is up 5% in early trading. The question here: will the third time be the charm for founder and CEO Michael Dell? A vote on his plan to take the company private is set for 10am. But it has been canceled twice before amid a battle with billionaire Carl Icahn. We should mention Icahn sued the company yesterday, hoping to force the vote today. As for Michael Dell, he has proposed upping his original offer of $13.65 a share by a dime, but only if voting rules are changed so that abstentions would no longer count as "no" votes. Shares of Dell are up 21% year-to-date, but they've retreated from that offering price of $13.65 since April as this battle has dragged on.
AIG (AIG) is up 5% in early trading. The insurer blew past earnings estimates, posting profits of $1.12 a share when expectations were for 85-cents. It did however miss on revenue. Looking beyond the quarter, the company announced a 10-cent dividend, its first since being bailed out in 2008. AIG is also launching a $1-billion share buyback program.
Weight Watchers (WTW) has dropped an astounding 14.7% of its mass since yesterday's close. After the bell the company reported earnings of $1.15 a share excluding items. That actually beat expectations as did revenues which came in at $465-million. But moving forward, the company lowered its full-year outlook and announced the resignation of CEO David Kirchhoff.
LinkedIn (LNKD) is up nearly 8% after reporting quarterly results yesterday afternoon. The company earned 38-cents a share compared to estimates of 31-cents. Revenue was also 10-million above expectations at $364-million. Traders seem to be ignoring the fact that LinkedIn gave guidance for the current quarter and the full year which disappointed analysts. Even before this morning's jump, LinkedIn shares have been up 89% year-to-date. They've climbed 128% over the past year giving the company a market cap over $23-billion.