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Commentary

Mid-Day Update: Stocks Waffle After Employment Data

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U.S. Market
The market waffled this morning following better-than-expected job loss data. The U.S. Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls slid 345,000 in May, below the 525,000 that economists were expecting. The unemployment rate rose to 9.4%, the highest level since August 1983. Click here for the latest market commentary from Briefing.com.

Stocks on the Move
The FDIC is pushing for changes in  Citigroup's (C) executive suite, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Officials are reportedly concerned that the bank has not recapitalized quickly enough or made aggressive enough moves to shed troubled assets. Former  US Bancorp (USB) CEO Jerry Grundhofer has been floated as a possible replacement for current Citi CEO Vikram Pandit.

 General Motors (GMGMQ) has reached a preliminary agreement with  Penske (PAG) to sell the Saturn brand. Penske will make deals with various automakers to help fill out the Saturn lineup.

 Rio Tinto (RTP) is up almost 6% after terminating its proposed $19.5 billion joint venture investment deal with Chinalco. Instead, Rio Tinto will execute a rights offering, which is expected to raise $15.2 billion, and enter into a Western Australian joint venture with  BHP Billiton   (BHP).

Steve Jobs, CEO of  Apple  (AAPL), appears ready to retake the helm later this month after taking medical leave in January. Apple also looks poised to launch a new iPhone model at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. Investors will be watching to see if Apple can maintain its Smartphone momentum as  Palm  (PALM) readies the launch of its new Pre phone this weekend.

Foreign Markets
Asian stocks rose following an up Thursday in the U.S. market. The Australian market was up almost 1%, driven by the mining sector, which rose on news of the Rio Tinto/BHP Billiton tie-up. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was also up 1% on the strength of the banking and energy sectors.

London's FTSE 100 was up 1.2% as the market cheered the better-than-expected unemployment news from the U.S.

Other international indexes:
Shanghai Composite
Paris CAC
DAX
Hang Seng

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.