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August Jobs Report: Instant Analysis and Implications for Taper; Summers’s Strife; Ford Exit Plan

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute
August Jobs Report: Instant Analysis and Implications for Taper; Summers’s Strife; Ford Exit Plan

Breaking news: The Labor Department says there were 169,000 jobs created in August. That's below expectations which were for 175,000 to 180,000. The unemployment rate made a surprise dip down to 7.3%. That's its lowest level since President Obama took office. But the labor participation rate also dropped to its lowest level since 1978: 63.2%.

For instant analysis on the numbers as they were released, watch the video above featuring Yahoo Finance's Lauren Lyster, Aaron Task and Matt Nesto.

Here are the other top business headlines this morning: The Wall Street Journal says at least 3-Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are expected to oppose Larry Summers if President Obama nominates him to become Fed Chair. That would set-up what's described as a razor-thin vote to determine Ben Bernanke's successor; Reuters is reporting Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally may retire ahead of the original date mentioned which was the end of 2014; And another item out of the Journal: Apple (AAPL) may be planning to roll out iPhones with screens as big as 6-inches.


Smith and Wesson (SWHC) which has been down more than 5% in early trading despite a robust earnings beat after yesterday's close. The gunmaker made 40-cents a share when estimates were for 36-cents. And revenue reached $171-million when expectations were for $165-million. Numbers were also up dramatically from a year-ago due to increasing demand. The problem here:The company issued disappointing guidance on waning demand. In fact, the numbers are likely to fall below those figures from a year ago. As of yesterday's close the stock is up 34% year-to-date. And last month shares hit their highest level in more than five years.

Clothing company Quiksilver (ZQK) which says unchanged here because it trades on the NYSE but has been up more than 20% on its earnings. The company missed on revenues which came in on the south side of $500-million. But earnings were 10-cents a share excluding items when expectations were for just 4-cents. Quicksilver stock has already been up 19% so far this year.The company says it has been successful at improving operating efficiencies. If this morning's climb in the stock price holds, Quiksilver will be able to boast a market cap over $1-billion dollars.

Mattress Firm Holding Corp (MFRM) is down 11% on its earnings which came out this morning. The company made 43-cents a share, 8-cents lower than expected. Revenue was also below expectations at $302-million when analysts were looking at $323-million. The chain has also lowered its guidance. Prior to this morning, the company stock was up 67% year-to-date.

SHFL Entertainment (SHFL) report earnings later today. SHFL used to be known as Shuffle Entertainment. It's a supplier of gambling equipment-- everything from card shufflers to table games. Earnings are expected to be 21-cents a share, up 2-cents from a year ago. Revenue is expected to be up more than 22% to $77.57-million. Shares are up more than 55% this year, largely on an announcement in July that the company plans to merge with Bally entertainment.