By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the underlying trend pointed to a continuing strengthening of labor market conditions. Other data on Thursday suggested a long-awaited acceleration in wage growth was imminent, with labor costs recording their largest increase in more than 5-1/2 years in the second quarter. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ended July 26, the Labor Department said. "Unemployment claims have come down a lot as of late and suggest that labor market conditions continue to improve," said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York.
By Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks slumped in a broad decline on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 turning negative for July on concerns over the strength of overseas economies and ongoing tensions with Russia. All ten primary S&P 500 sectors were down on the day, with energy the biggest decliner with a drop of 0.9 percent. About 82 percent of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange fell, while 74 percent of Nasdaq-listed shares were lower. Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo slumped almost 40 percent to an all-time low as its hopes of raising capital without state aid suffered a major blow after massive losses.
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as higher prices for its crude and natural gas offset a 6 percent drop in production. Exxon has struggled in recent quarters to replenish its reserves quickly, investing in massive new projects in Russia and Papua New Guinea that take years to develop. "Declining production is a recurring theme for Exxon Mobil," said Edward Jones analyst Brian Youngberg. "The company remains growth-challenged, and a lot of that is due to their large size." Adding to the company's challenges are Western sanctions against Russia, since Exxon is more involved in that country than any other U.S. oil company.
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's Embraer SA , the world's third largest commercial planemaker, expects more new regional jet orders from the United States next year, given strong acceptance of E-175 aircraft delivered there recently, Chief Executive Officer Frederico Curado said on a Thursday earnings call. (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)