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Stock market news today, June 6, 2014: The Dow Jones today is headlined by the May jobs report, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record high again on Thursday. That happened after the European Central Bank announced plans to cut interest rates and possibly consider stimulus efforts. The ECB slashed its main refinancing rate to a historic low from 0.25% to 0.15%. It also cut its deposit rate to -0.1%.
Here are the top stories to watch to make your Friday profitable:
- No More Weather Problems: The U.S. Labor Department announced that the U.S. added 217,000 jobs in May. That held the current unemployment rate at 6.3%, which the government claims is a sign of a strengthening economy. Unfortunately, the labor-force participation rate remained unchanged at a 36-year low of 62.8%.
- This Might Escalate: Following a series of notices that blame service providers for slow streaming speeds, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX). The ISP has threatened to sue Netflix if it continues to show error messages that blame the FiOs high-speed fiber-optic network for slow streaming speeds.
- It's Party Time: The world's largest retail company Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is set to kick off its annual shareholder meeting today. The biggest discussion topic will likely center on how the company plans to reverse five consecutive quarters in U.S. sales declines. Wal-Mart is also dealing with an international scandal involving bribery allegations against certain international operations managers.
- Banks Behaving Badly: The relations between France and the United States have worsened after American regulators suggested that BNP Paribas (OTC: BNPQY) settle a claim for $16 billion over charges that the French bank violated economic sanctions by operating in Sudan and Iran. This figure would have been the largest settlement ever, surpassing the $13 billion charge that JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) paid last year. France has accused the United States of acting unilaterally and irresponsibly against its largest bank, drawing significant criticism from the Hollande administration.