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Toyota Just Overshadowed the U.S. Jobs Report - 5 Things You Must Know Before the Market Opens

1. -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to mild gains for Wall Street on Friday, Aug. 4, ahead of the U.S. jobs report for July.

The U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for July will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect the U.S. to have added 180,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4.3%, matching May's 16-year low, from 4.4% in June.

Hourly earnings were expected to rise 0.3% month on month, picking up from a 0.2% growth rate in June. Year over year, hourly earnings growth was targeted by economists to have held at 2.5%.

Income growth will be one of the most important indicators in the U.S. Labor Department's monthly employment report.

While the current jobless rate of 4.4% is less than half its 2009 peak, salaries are growing less than 3% from one year to the next and inflation -- a measure of U.S. economic growth -- has slowed 40 basis points this year to 1.5%. That's well behind the 2% the Federal Reserve said would indicate stable expansion and help justify continuing to boost interest rates.

"The big story just comes down to how much slack there is in the labor market and what that means for wages," said Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist for Bank of America, who predicted expansion might slow to 2.4% from a year ago.

The economic...


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