Stocks soar on strong July job report
NEW YORK - A surge in hiring last month got a big welcome on Wall Street Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average surged 217.29 points to close at 13,096.17, ending a four-day losing streak. It was the best day for the Dow since June 29.
Markets had been slumping all week after central banks in the U.S and Europe took no new action to shore up the economy, as investors had hoped.
The Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report gave investors assurance that the U.S. economy might be doing better on its own.
Oil surges 5%
on strong jobs growth
NEW YORK - The price of oil posted its biggest gain in more than a month, jumping nearly 5 percent, after the government reported a sharp rise in jobs growth for July.
Benchmark U.S. crude on Friday rose $4.27 to end the day at $91.40 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which sets the price for oil imported into the U.S., climbed $3.04, or 2.9 percent, to $108.94 per barrel in London.
Prices climbed after the government said U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July. Last month's hiring was the best since February, though it wasn't enough to drive down the unemployment rate.
Watchdog probes insurance deals
WASHINGTON - The government's consumer finance watchdog is investigating deals that transferred billions in premiums charged to mortgage borrowers by mortgage-
insurance companies to the banks that made the loans.
The deals amounted to kickbacks, because the banks pressured insurers into them in exchange for a share of the banks' mortgage- insurance business, according to civil lawsuits filed by borrowers and legal experts.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has served subpoenas to American International Group Inc., MGIC Investment Corp., Genworth Financial Inc. and Radian Group Inc., the companies said in public filings this week.
Toyota raises sales plan as profits zoom
TOKYO - Toyota raised its sales target for this year to a record 9.76 million vehicles and reported a strong recovery in quarterly profit Friday, underlining its bounce back from a disaster-plagued 2011.
Toyota Motor Corp. said April-June profit zoomed
to $3.7 billion, up from
$13.2 million the year before. Its new sales target would represent a 23 percent increase from the 7.95 million vehicles sold in 2011, and is 180,000 vehicles more than Toyota's last forecast in February.
P&G 4th quarter up on snack sale
NEW YORK - Procter
& Gamble Co. said Friday that its net income climbed 45 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, boosted by the sale of its snacks division.
Even without the impact of the sale, its earnings beat Wall Street expectations, and the company said it was making progress with its cost-cutting plan and strategy to improve results by focusing on its most profitable categories.
Viacom 3rd quarter profit down 7%
NEW YORK - Viacom Inc., the owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Nickelodeon, on Friday said that its net income fell 7 percent in the latest quarter as advertising revenue declined more than expected and its movie releases failed to measure up to last year's.
AT&T sets deadline for 2G sunset: 4 years
NEW YORK - AT&T Inc. said Friday that the shutdown of its second- generation, or "2G," wireless network will be complete by the end of 2016, a process that will force customers with older phones to upgrade to "3G" or "4G" handsets.
In a regulatory filing, the Dallas-based company said 12 percent of its customers on contract-based plans, or 8.4 million people, have 2G phones.
EA sues Zynga over copyright violation
NEW YORK - Electronic Arts Inc. has sued online game maker Zynga, saying that its new game "The Ville" infringes its own game, "The Sims Social."
EA said Friday that "The Ville" is "unmistakable" in its similarity to "The Sims Social," which launched more than a year earlier. EA says the games are "largely indistinguishable" to a casual observer.
The games are both played on Facebook. Players create characters who live, work and interact with each other in virtual neighborhoods.
The Associated Press