Friday was another tough day for oil as stocks finished in the red. Both Chevron and Exxon Mobil reported earnings sharply down from the prior year as crude oil fell below $US47 a barrel.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,691.5, -54.5, (-0.3%)
- S&P 500: 2,104.1, -4.5, (-0.2%)
- Nasdaq: 5,128.3, -0.5, (-0.01%)
And now, the top stories on Friday:
- Wage growth hit a record low in Q2. The Bureau of Labour Statistics announced this morning that wages grew by only 0.2% — the smallest quarterly gain since the series began in 1982. The employment cost index rose 2% year-over-year following a 2.6% gain in Q1. Wall Street was expecting the year-over-year gain to be 2.4%. This is the final ECI report before the September Fed meeting, and could play a significant role in whether or not the central bank decides to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years.
- The Athens Stock Exchange will finally open again on Monday after being shuttered for five weeks, according to the AFP. The AFP quoted a source from the Greek finance ministry who said the decision has already been signed. Greece’s main stock exchange was closed on June 26 amid capital controls that stemmed from the Greek debt crisis.
- Oil ended its worst month since October 2008, falling about 21% in July. On Thursday, oil hit a new low, falling below $US47 a barrel. Meanwhile, supply keeps growing as the Baker Hughes US oil rig count rose by 5 this week to 664. This marks the 4th increase in the past five weeks.
- Chevron reported a 90% drop in profits year-over-year as oil continues to crash. Net income was down to $US571 million from $US5.67 billion during the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil reported a 52% drop in profits year-over-year, with net income down to $US4.2 billion. The company earned $US8.8 billion during the same quarter last year.
- A report from the Wall Street Journal said that Uber is now valued at more than $US50 billion, following its latest round of funding. According to the Journal, the company raised nearly $US1 billion from investors such as Microsoft and Indian media company Bennett Coleman & Co. Uber is the second company, after Facebook, to ever have a valuation this large before going public.
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