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Economy hums along...Oil higher... GM recall

Posted August 5
Updated August 7

— The latest job gains suggest the U.S. economy is still growing steadily. July was the second consecutive month of strong hiring. The Labor Department says U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs last month. That led to modest gains in the stock market on Friday. The S&P 500 added just over 4 points. The Dow rose more than 66 and the Nasdaq climbed 11 points. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 7 points as well.

Oil prices are edging higher. Benchmark U.S. crude futures rose 55 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $49.58 per barrel in New York on Friday. Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international standard, added 41 cents to $52.42 a barrel in London.

General Motors is recalling roughly 800,000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks worldwide. GM says the vehicles can temporarily lose electric power steering assist, especially during low-speed turns. If that happens, the driver could lose control of the steering wheel. The recall affects trucks from the 2014 model year. Most of the vehicles were sold in the U.S., but roughly 100,000 were sold in other markets.

Wells Fargo & Co. says it's expanding an internal review of its sales practices, noting that the move could uncover significantly more accounts opened by the bank's employees without customers' consent. Wells Fargo has been trying to repair its reputation after admitting last fall that employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without getting customers' permission, in an effort to meet aggressive sales targets.

The Air Force, which has been looking for ways to lower the cost of new Air Force One planes, has agreed to buy two jumbo jets from Boeing that were ordered but never delivered to a now-defunct Russian airline. President Donald Trump has complained about the high cost of new presidential planes. Boeing's website lists the current price for a Boeing 747-8 as $386.8 million. Modifications for the president would increase the final price.

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