Stocks slip...Mixed report on July jobs picture...Consumer spending, factory orders rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly lower in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported only modest job growth last month. Energy stocks fell more than the rest of the market after Chevron became the latest big energy company to report lower profits.

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's mixed news on the U.S. employment front. The Labor Department says employers added 162,000 jobs in July, the fewest since March. But the gains were enough to lower the unemployment rate to a 4 ½ -year low of 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in June. Fewer jobs were added in the previous two months than earlier estimated, Americans worked fewer hours and their pay dipped. White House economic adviser Alan Krueger says the report shows the economy is continuing to recover but more work needs to be done.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers have increased their spending at the fastest pace in four months even though their income growth slowed. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in June compared with May, the best gain since a 0.7 percent rise in February. Income growth slowed to a 0.3 percent rise. Spending on non-durable goods was up 1.3 percent, reflecting in part rising gas prices, while demand for durable goods rose 0.8 percent, reflecting strength in auto sales.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders placed with U.S. factories rose to a record high in June, boosted by strong demand for airplanes, machinery and autos. The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.5 percent in June compared with May, when orders rose 3 percent. It was the second month that factory orders have been at an all-time high, surpassing the previous record set in June 2008. Orders in a key category that tracks business investment rose 0.9 percent in June, the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota says its profit for the first quarter of the fiscal year nearly doubled from a year ago. The Japanese automaker says profit for the April-June quarter rose to $5.6 billion after getting a big boost from a weak yen. The company also set an ambitious worldwide production goal for the 2013 calendar year at 10.1 million vehicles, which would be an industry record.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.