From our wire services
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that layoffs remain low and companies are adding a modest number of jobs. On Friday, the government will issue its June jobs report and economists forecast that it will show employers added 165,000 jobs, slightly below the 175,000 gain in May.
ADP job report
Payroll provider ADP said businesses added 188,000 jobs in June, up from 134,000 in May and the most since February. Construction firms added 21,000 jobs, a sign the housing recovery is boosting hiring. Small businesses - those with fewer than 50 employees - added 84,000 jobs.
Jobs lift stocks
Encouraging news about the U.S. jobs market trumped rising oil prices and worrying developments in Europe's simmering debt crisis. "The key takeaway is that jobs matter more than Egypt," said Alec Young, a global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. "Nothing is more important to the state of the economy than the jobs market."
The Institute for Supply Management said that its index of service-sector growth fell in June to 52.2. That's down from 53.7 in May and the lowest reading in more than three years. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Oil price surges
The price of oil rose to to $101.24 a barrel, its highest level in 14 months, on concerns about possible disruptions to Middle East supplies and signs of an increase in U.S. demand for fuel. Analysts do not think the spike in oil prices will lead to sharply higher gasoline prices, though, because U.S. crude supplies remain high and refineries are turning out plenty of gasoline.
Loan rate falls
Freddie Mac said the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.29 percent. That's down from 4.46 percent last week, the highest in two years and a full point more than a month ago. Mortgage rates had jumped last week after the Federal Reserve signaled it could slow its monthly bond purchases later this year if the economy keeps improving.
U.S. trade deficit
The U.S. trade deficit widened in May to its highest level in six months as a sluggish global economy depressed U.S. exports. The trade deficit rose to $45 billion in May, up 12.1 percent from $40.1 billion in April, the Commerce Department said.
European countries agreed that talks on a free-trade deal with the United States should start in parallel with discussions about NSA surveillance.
French President Francois Hollande insisted after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders in Berlin that the trade talks can start only "at the same time, at the same date" as talks with the U.S. on concerns over its intelligence activities.
Chrysler recalls 490,000
Chrysler Group LLC says it will recall about 490,000 cars and utility vehicles worldwide because of a problem with active head restraints intended to prevent neck injuries in rear-end collisions. The carmaker said microcontrollers in the head restraint could be faulty and prevent the system from operating properly.
Rite Aid revenue
Rite Aid Corp.'s revenue from established stores inched up less than 1 percent last month, as generic drugs continued to pinch results at its pharmacies, and sales from the front-end, or the rest of its stores, came in nearly flat. The Camp Hill, Pa., company said pharmacy revenue from stores open at least a year rose slightly 0.9 percent, while front-end sales rose 0.4 percent.