Unless next week's payrolls report is an outlier, investors should expect a continuation of the directionless market that has kept the S&P 500 trading in place for most of the year. Should July post strong job gains, it would point to an economy strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.
By Malathi Nayak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc and the unions representing its wireline unit employees on the U.S. East Coast said work will go on and talks continue after their current contract expired. Since June, the unions have been in talks with Verizon over the company's plans to cut costs by controlling healthcare and pension-related benefits over a three-year period. Last week, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers that represent over 37,000 wireline employees said they had voted to go on strike, if needed, after their contract expired on Aug. 1 at midnight.
Greece may seek 24 billion euros in a first tranche of bailout aid from international lenders in August to prop up its banks and repay debts falling due at the ECB, a pro-government Greek newspaper said in its early Sunday editions. Athens is now in talks with the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund to secure up to 86 billion euros ($94.48 billion) in bailout aid. Avgi newspaper, which is close to the leftist Syriza government, said Greek authorities expected to conclude talks with lenders by mid-August.
By Ami Miyazaki and Krista Hughes LAHAINA, Hawaii (Reuters) - Pacific Rim trade ministers failed to clinch a deal on Friday to free up trade between a dozen nations after a dispute flared up over auto trade between Japan and North America, New Zealand dug in over dairy trade and no agreement was reached on monopoly periods for next-generation drugs. Trade ministers from the 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would stretch from Japan to Chile and cover 40 percent of the world economy, fell just short of a deal at talks on the Hawaiian island of Maui but were confident an agreement was within reach. "The undergrowth has been cleared away in the course of this meeting in a manner that I would say is streets ahead of any of the other ministerial meetings that we have had," New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said.
U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years as workers earned less in commissions and bonuses, in what appeared to be a temporary wage growth setback against the backdrop of diminishing labor market slack. The surprisingly smaller rise reported by the Labor Department on Friday did little to temper expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates later this year. The job market is fast approaching full employment.