DJIA: 17,689.86  -56.12 (-0.32%) | NASDAQ: 5,128.281  -0.503 (-0.01%) | S&P 500: 2,103.84  -4.79 (-0.23%) Markets status unavailable

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    Official China manufacturing PMI weakens to 50.0 in July. BEIJING-- A gauge of China's factory activity slipped in July, pointing to further sluggishness in the key manufacturing sector of the world's second-largest economy. Analysts said the relatively weak reading in the official China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index reflected a continuing trend of weak demand at home and abroad, a battered property sector and added pressure from a swooning stock market.

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    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.

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    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.

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    * Dollar index declines. * Wall Street closes lower, energy stocks drag. * U.S. Q2 employment cost gains smallest since 1982. * Oil prices fall 2 to 3 pct. By Michael Connor. The dollar fell and benchmark U.S. Treasury yields touched multi-week lows on Friday as an unexpectedly weak government reading of American labor costs dulled prospects for higher U.S. interest rates.

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    Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Chevron Corp. (CVX) were the second worst and the worst Dow Jones Industrial Average performers on Friday, performances that sealed July as their worst month since January. Shares of Exxon, down 4.6%, suffered their worst one-day percentage loss since August 2011. Shares of Chevron (CVX) fell 4.9%, their worst one-day percentage loss since November 2014. Exxon was down 4.8% in July, whereas Chevron (CVX) fell 8.3% in the month. Exxon shares are down 14% so far this year, while...

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    ended lower Friday, as weakness in the energy sector outweighed modest gains elsewhere. Earlier, a closely watched measure of employment costs decelerated in the second quarter, sparking hopes that the Federal Reserve may delay rate hikes this year. Analysts pointed out that weak wage growth is a symptom of slowing growth, which does not bode well for corporate earnings.

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     Ensco (ESV) stock closed down 0.3% to $16.58 on Friday afternoon as oil price dropped to its lowest levels since March after reports showed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries produced more oil in July than in June. WTI crude is down 3.44% to $46.85 per barrel, while Brent crude is falling 2.87% to $51.78 per barrel this afternoon, according to a CNBC.com index.

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    * Second-quarter wage growth smallest in 33 years. * Wage data supports argument for Dec rate hike. * Exxon, Chevron fall as weak oil price hurts profits. * Dropping oil sector erases earlier gain on S&P. * Indexes end down: Dow 0.31 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.01 pct. By Noel Randewich.

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    Weakest-ever reading on wage growth sent 10- year yield to a three-week low. Treasury yields plummeted on Friday, finishing at the lowest level since July 8, after the Labor Department said U.S. employees' wages and benefits rose a record-low 0.2% in the second quarter. Friday's moves wrapped a monthly rally in which Treasury yields recorded their largest three-week decline since April 3 and their largest monthly decline since January, pushed lower by falling commodity prices...

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    Crude-oil futures closed lower Friday, with West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery giving up $1.40, or roughly 2.9%, to settle at $47.12 a barrel. Already under pressure, oil futures extended declines after oil-services firm Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. oil rigs rose by five to 664, oil-services firm Baker Hughes reported. Compared with the same time last year, the number of U.S. rigs has fallen by 909, the firm said.

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     Penn Virginia (PVA) stock closed down 2.9% to $1.34 in afternoon trading on Friday after U.S. oil prices plunged to under $47 a barrel after producers in the Middle East increased production during July. WTI crude is down 3.59% to $46.78 per barrel, while Brent crude is falling 3.11% to $51.65 per barrel this afternoon, according to a CNBC.com index.

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    U.s. stocks declined on Friday as a drop in energy stocks eclipsed wage data that supported expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could delay an interest-rate hike this year. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51.78 points, or 0.29 percent, to 17,694.2, the S&P 500 lost 4.24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,104.39 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.50 points, or 0.01 percent, to 5,128.28.

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    July was a mixed month for markets as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed with slight gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a loss. For the month, the S&P 500 added 1.2% and the Nasdaq gained 1%. The Dow lost 0.4%. But none suffered more this month than crude oil, which endured its worst losses of the year. Oil's performance on Friday did little to help matters.

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    July 31 (Reuters) - Speculators' net bullish bets on U.S. 10-year Treasury note futures rose in the latest week to their highest levels since April 2013, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday. Speculators raised their bullish bets on longer-dated Treasuries ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement on Wednesday in anticipation of clues on whether the U.S. central bank might signal it may raise interest rates later this year. The amount of speculators' bullish, or long, positions in 10-year Treasury futures exceeded bearish, or short, positions by 65,642 contracts on July 28, according to the CFTC's latest Commitments of Traders data. This was the most speculative net longs in 10-year T-notes since April 30, 2013 when they totalled 132,044. A week earlier, speculators held 27,400 net long positions in 10-year T-note futures. Meanwhile, speculators shed their net longs in Eurodollar futures to 65,943 contracts, down from 202,599 the previous week and the lowest level since the week of March 22. Below is a table of the speculative positions in Treasury futures on the Chicago Board of Trade and in Eurodollar futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the latest week: U.S. 2-year T-notes (Contracts of $200,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 439,378 439,923 Short 319,735 323,600 Net 119,643 116,323 U.S. 5-year T-notes (Contracts of $100,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 415,722 400,271 Short 577,689 527,723 Net -161,967 -127,452 U.S. 10-year T-notes (Contracts of $100,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 491,516 459,575 Short 425,874 432,175 Net 65,642 27,400 U.S. T-bonds (Contracts of $100,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 60,237 62,755 Short 59,079 68,026 Net 1,158 -5,271 U.S. Ultra T-bonds (Contracts of $100,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 54,589 52,166 Short 101,138 97,829 Net -46,549 -45,663 Eurodollar (Contracts of $1,000,000) July 28, 2015 Prior week week Long 1,706,252 1,749,141 Short 1,640,309 1,546,542 Net 65,943 202,599 (Reporting by Richard Leong, editing by G Crosse)

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    Shares of Transocean (RIG) shares were falling 5% to $13.26 Friday as an increased U.S. oil rig count helped caused oil prices to drop. WTI crude oil for September delivery was down 3.34% to $46.90 a barrel Friday afternoon, and Brent crude oil for September delivery was down 2.57% to $51.94 a barrel.

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    Shares of Seadrill were falling 4.7% to $8.90 Friday as an increased U.S. oil rig count caused oil prices to drop. WTI crude oil for September delivery was down 3.22% to $46.96 a barrel Friday afternoon, and Brent crude oil for September delivery was down 2.46% to $52 a barrel.

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    Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) shares surged 4.4% in premarket trade Friday, after the company reported stronger- than-expected second-quarter profit and raised its outlook for the full year. The cruise operator said it had net income of $185 million, or 84 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $137.7 million, or 62 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted EPS also came to 84 cents, well above the FactSet consensus of 73 cents.

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     IAMGOLD CORP (IAG). stock is gaining 3.42% to $1.51 in afternoon trading as gold prices bounced back from morning losses. Gold for August delivery is up 0.67% to $1.095.70 per ounce on the COMEX on Friday afternoon. Gold prices neared a five-year low on Friday morning on expectations that the Fed will raise rates after data showed growth in the U.S. economy, Reuters reported.

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    * Second-quarter wage growth smallest in 33 years. * Wage data supports argument for Dec rate hike. * Exxon, Chevron fall as weak oil price hurts profits. * Indexes: Dow down 0.16 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.18 pct. By Noel Randewich.