* U.S. unemployment rate falls, but payrolls disappoint
* LinkedIn, AIG shares rise after results
* Dell committee and buyout group announce agreement, shares
* Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P off 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Alison Griswold
NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Stocks on Wall Street were
little changed on Friday after data showed the jobless rate fell
in July but U.S. hiring slowed, mixed signals that could make
the Federal Reserve more cautious about scaling back its massive
The Dow and the S&P 500 pulled back from the record closing
highs they hit on Thursday after the jobs report showed non-farm
payrolls rose by 162,000 in July, below expectations, but the
unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, its lowest since December
Coming off a series of better-than-expected data and
optimism about strong growth in the second half of the year, the
tepid jobs report was a reality check, analysts said.
"Stock investors are scared of both the tapering and a
potentially slowing economy," said Brian Reynolds, chief market
strategist at Rosenblatt Securities in New York. "They're not
sure what they're scared of, but they know they're scared. And
very few people want to buy stocks at an all-time high."
Five of the 10 S&P 500 industry sectors moved lower, led by
losses of nearly 1 percent in the energy index.
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, was
the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500 after posting a
steeper-than-expected 26 percent drop in quarterly profit.
Shares of the company fell 2.3 percent to $123.55.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 17.38
points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,610.64. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 0.90 point, or 0.05 percent, at 1,705.97.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.18 points, or
0.09 percent, at 3,678.92. The tech-heavy index was boosted by
gains of 5.9 percent in Viacomm, which reported an
increase in its third-quarter revenue, and by a 0.7 percent
uptick in Apple.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 posted its strongest day in three
weeks and closed above the 1,700 level for the first time.
Time Warner Cable fell 1.8 percent to $115.56 after
Bloomberg reported that Cox Communications Inc has held talks
about merging with cable provider and rival Charter
Communications Inc. Charter added 3.5 percent to
Dell's special committee and a group led by founder
and Chief Executive Michael Dell announced a deal that
dramatically increases the chances of his $24.6 billion buyout
going through. Dell shares gained 5.3 percent to $13.65.
LinkedIn shares jumped 11.1 percent to $236.35 and
several brokerages raised their price targets on the stock after
results on Thursday topped expectations.
AIG Inc also beat expectations on Thursday and
announced its first capital return since its 2008 bailout
through a dividend and share buy-back, sending its shares up 3
percent to $48.47.
Of the 391 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings for the second quarter, 67.8 percent have topped
analyst expectations, in line with the average beat over the
past four quarters, data from Thomson Reuters showed. About 55
percent have reported revenue above estimates, more than in the
past four quarters but below the historical average.
In other economic news, consumer spending increased in June
and inflation pushed higher, while new orders for U.S. factory
goods rose for the third straight month in June.