(Corrects spelling in 12th paragraph of company name to Bally,
* Payroll report comes in below forecasts
* P&G, Tesla rise after results, Chevron down
* Dow down 0.2 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 1 U.S. stocks were little changed
on Friday, paring big losses that had been indicated by trading
before the market opened, as a weak July jobs report allayed
concerns the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates sooner
than many had expected.
Futures had indicated a second straight day of sharp losses
following Thursday's selloff, which was spurred by concerns of a
sooner-than-expected rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Data showed 209,000 jobs were created in July, below the
233,000 that was expected. Analysts had speculated that a
stronger-than-expected report would give the Fed flexibility to
hike rates. Such a move would raise borrowing costs for
individuals and companies and crimp spending, which could impact
The jobs report "won't force the Fed to raise rates any time
soon, and given all the fear that was out there yesterday, it
makes sense to me that futures would come back so strongly,"
said Mark Grant, managing director at Southwest Securities in
Other data pointed to improving economic conditions,
including the Institute for Supply Management's read on
manufacturing, which expanded at the fastest pace in more than
three years in July. Factory activity expanded
in July, according to financial data firm Markit, though the
pace of growth slipped from the prior month.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 25.11 points or
0.15 percent, to 16,538.19, the S&P 500 gained 0.45
points or 0.02 percent, to 1,931.12 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 4.77 points or 0.11 percent, to 4,365.00.
The day's top-performing sectors were all defensive, which
tend to outperform in periods of economic uncertainty.
Consumer staples rose 1.1 percent as the strongest
group on the day, followed by utilities, up 1 percent.
Energy shares, a cyclical group that is tied to the pace of
economic growth, were the weakest, off 0.6 percent.
Thursday's decline was the biggest one-day drop for the S&P
since April, and it turned the Dow negative for the year.
Despite Friday's rebound, the S&P remained under its 50-day
moving average, a sign of weak near-term trends.
For the week, the Dow is down 2.6 percent, the S&P is down
2.5 percent and the Nasdaq is down 2 percent. It is the biggest
weekly decline for all three since April.
A pair of Dow components reported earnings that topped
expectations, with Procter & Gamble Co rising 3.4 percent
to $79.93 but Chevron dipping 0.8 percent to $128.16.
Scientific Games Corp rose 11 percent to $9.50
after it said it would buy Bally Technologies Inc for
$3.27 billion. Bally jumped 30 percent to $77.95.
Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc posted
second-quarter revenue that nearly doubled from the prior year,
while its adjusted earnings topped expectations. Shares rose 2.4
percent to $228.77.
Among other data, U.S. consumer sentiment edged down in
July, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
Surveys of Consumers, modestly missing expectations.
June construction spending fell 1.8 percent, far
from the 0.5 percent rise that had been expected.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)