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After yesterday's promising ADP employment report the stock market today received no support from the Labor Department's jobs report.
The economy added 80,000 jobs in June, slightly higher than last month's revised figure of 77,000 jobs but still not enough to bring the unemployment level down from 8.2%.
Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain the same but had estimated on average 100,000 jobs to be added. This is the third month in a row that the amount of jobs added fell below 100,000, and the third month in a row that jobs have missed expectations.
An even gloomier statistic is the underemployment rate, comprised of part-time workers who'd prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking, which increased to 14.9 % from 14.8%.
The only good thing that came out of this report was that things didn't get much worse. But leveling off is no good either as many economists have stated that job growth needs to be around 125,000 just to keep up with population growth.
After last Friday's rally the markets fizzled this week following a batch of negative economic reports. It might have been a good thing for investors that this was at least a shortened week due to Independence Day.
Here are today's biggest headlines.
Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is apparently making plans to develop a smartphone that would compete with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) in the smartphone market.
A day after reports were leaked about an "iPad mini" people familiar with Amazon said that Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., a Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device.
According to Bloomberg News Amazon is trying to acquire patents that cover wireless technology to complement the smartphone strategy and help it defend against allegations of infringement.
If the smartphone rumor is real it would allow Amazon the opportunity to reach more customers and hopefully have those future and current customers purchase more things from Amazon. It doesn't matter as much if Amazon can compete and be profitable in the smartphone market as long as Amazon can bring more people into their "ecosystem."
Even if Amazon takes a loss on a much cheaper smartphone than Apple's iPhone it hopes that those consumers will turn into frequent Amazon users.
That is probably the real intention of an Amazon smartphone rather than take on Apple's dominant smartphone position.
Amazon has had a strong 2012 so far thanks to strong sales from the Kindle Fire. Amazon stock is up over 30% this year but is down 0.25% today.
Editor's Note: While Amazon is up this year, for the five tech stocks to avoid
Lacrosse Footwear (Nasdaq: BOOT) a Portland, OR-based company is today's biggest gainer.
The developer and marketer of footwear for work and outdoor uses rallied 81% after it agreed to be acquired at a cash price of $20 a share by Tokyo-based ABC-Mart Inc. The deal carries a total price tag of about $138 million.
Lacrosse shares spiked at the open from their previous close near $11 to a share price close to the $20 per-share valuation.
ABC-MART is Japan's leading retailer of athletic, business and casual footwear. ABC-MART paid a hefty premium for Lacrosse and hopes the company's reputation and brand will help continue its long-term growth worldwide.
Shares of Lacrosse were up 81% as of noon.
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