Unemployment Rate Drops To Lowest Number In 4 Years At 7.4 Percent

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NEW YORK – Stock futures were mixed Friday, after the United States reported that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in July, the lowest level in more than four years.

The total number of jobs created, however, was short of most projections by economists, and at 162,000 in all, it was the fewest added since March.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 7 points to 15,543. The broader S&P futures lost a point to reach 1,699.20. Nasdaq futures gained 13.5 points to 3,126.25.

The government also reported the fastest uptick in consumer spending in four months for June.

Consumer spending drives about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, making it a big signal for economists trying to gauge how Americans are feeling about their prospects going forward.

Later Friday, the Commerce Department will report factory orders for June. Most economists are expecting brisk activity in the sector.

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