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US stock market daily report (October 05, 2012, Friday)

October 8, 2012, Monday, 04:31 GMT | 23:31 EST | 08:01 IST | 10:31 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.1%, striking the lowest level seen since January 2009, per the U.S. Labor Department on Friday. During September, the U.S. economy created 114,000 jobs. The U.S. jobless rate fell sharply after the biggest increase in employment as measured by the household survey since 1983 with approximately 873,000 people in the household survey reporting to have found jobs. The number of new jobs created in August was revised up to 142,000 from original estimate of 96,000 and new jobs created in July was revised up to 181,000 from 141,000. Average hourly wages rose 7 cents or 0.4% to $23.58 in September while the average workweek edged up 0.1 hour to 34.5.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people with full-time jobs increased by 838,000 in September to 115.2 million, while the number of people with part-time jobs declined by 26,000 to 27.7 million. Compared with a year ago, 2.7 million more Americans are working full time, while the ranks of part-time workers have increased by just 91,000.

According to the Federal Reserve on Friday, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8% to $2.73 trillion in August. Revolving credit, like credit cards, grew 5.9% and non-revolving credit, like autos and student loans, rose 9.0%.

According to a letter to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell - BP PLC (BP), ConocoPhillips (COP), Exxon Mobil Corp. and TransCanada (TRP) (TOR:CA:TRP) reported on Friday they could spend up to $65 billion on a project to export liquefied natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to Asian markets. The project would employ up to 15,000 for construction and permanent work force of more than 1,000. “We are encouraged by the synergies and efficiencies identified by our integrated team,” according to the letter. “While good progress has been made, significant environmental, regulatory, engineering and commercial work remains to reach upcoming decisions to bring North Slope gas to market,” the companies said.

Zynga (ZNGA) - social game maker - shares were down 16% into mid-afternoon trading on Friday and at one point, tripped Nasdaq’s circuit breaker which is meant to shield stocks from manipulation by short-sellers. Since the start of 2012, Zynga shares have lost more than 75% of value. Late Thursday, Zynga lowered its full-year forecast, citing weakness in some of its key game titles. Robert W. Baird downgraded the game maker to neutral, citing concerns over the “magnitude” of the forecast cut. Zynga's core social game offerings such as “FarmVille” and “CityVille” as well as other similar titles have been under-performing relative to expectations. The firm has experienced a number of high level executives that have left the firm, including at least four C-level positions since early August. Zynga lowered its full-year bookings forecast to a range of $1.085 billion to $1.1 billion from its previous forecast of $1.15 billion to $1.225 billion. Zynga cited “reduced expectations” for certain games, including the recently launched “The Ville” title on Facebook, as reason for the move. The firm said preliminary results for Q3 primarily reflect weakness of certain games in its web ‘invest and express’ category. It expects to report revenue of $300 million to $305 million, with bookings coming in between $250 million and $255 million. The company’s Q3 results will include a write-down of between $85 million and $95 million for its acquisition of mobile game firm OMGPOP.

Facebook (FB), where most of Zynga’s (ZNGA) games are played, shares were lower by 4% into mid-afternoon trading on Friday. During Q2, Facebook derived about 10% of its revenue from Zynga. In the past three months, Facebook shares have lost more than 30%.