At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. We have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all in one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.
Unemployment crushes hopes of faster recovery
Despite encouraging numbers released on Wednesday, the U.S. added a meager 18,000 jobs for the month of June. The disappointing increase helped push the unemployment rate back up to 9.2%, the highest it has been this year. Analysts expected an addition of almost 90,000 jobs.
The discouraging number has taken a toll on the stock market, with the S&P 500 Index down as of this writing. Bonds have also fallen. Companies such as Gannett, publisher of dozens of newspapers including USA Today, announced during the month of June that it would be cutting nearly 700 jobs. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said on June 30 that it planned to cut 1,500 positions.
A higher unemployment rate could hurt retailers since consumer spending may fall as fewer Americans are able to get jobs. Read more at Bloomberg.
Mortgage lawsuit being scaled back
Investors sued Countrywide Financial, a company of Bank of America
This adds to the trend of lawsuits being contained in favor of the banks since many plaintiffs have failed to prove how they have been hurt. However, other banks have decided to settle with the plaintiffs. On July 6, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $125 million to settle claims by investors who were misled about the risks of mortgage-backed securities. Read more at Bloomberg.
Free music no more
Internet users who download or share pirated music and movies may be getting warnings from their Internet service providers. In a coalition between major film studios, record labels, and ISPs, users who engage in illegal downloading will get messages saying their connection will be slowed down if there is continuous infringement.
Those who have agreed to the Copyright Alert System include Comcast
Ignore oil from Alberta
One of the biggest oil reserves found in the 21st century is very close to home. The Alberta, Canada, oil sands produce 1.5 million barrels of daily oil export -- but the U.S. may not want more of it. The reason behind rejecting this oil reserve is mainly environmental. The region's oil is gleaned from bitumen, a tar-like substance that requires an energy-intensive process and the creation of greenhouse gases to extract. Because of this, the U.S. is ambivalent about stretching a pipeline that could double imports.
The oil industry is not as picky, and oil magnates including ExxonMobil
So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.
Michelle Zayed owns no shares of any companies mentioned in the story. The Fool owns shares of and has opened a short position on Bank of America. The Fool owns shares of and has created a ratio put spread position on Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.