The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in 18 months in June, pushed down by a steep drop in oil imports and a rise in exports.
U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up.
Toyota's top U.S. sales executive predicts that his company will add jobs and build more models in North America as a hedge against a strong yen.
The central banks of France and Britain, Europe's second- and third-largest economies, made grim forecasts on Wednesday, while data out of Germany, its largest economy, showed a weakening in manufacturing.
A123 Systems said that while its operations continue to bleed cash, it has reached an agreement with a Chinese auto parts maker for an investment of up to $450M that will help the struggling electric vehicle maker stay afloat.
Boeing spokesman Thomas Brabant said the 2012 prices reflected higher costs for wages, goods, and services.
The modest 1.6 percent annualized gain in productivity from April through June signals employers may need to hire more if demand picks up.
Automakers are gearing up for a possible spillover of the eurozone debt crisis as the European market continues to deteriorate.
Financial markets rallied Friday as an increase in U.S. hiring suggested the world's largest economy is not heading for recession but recovering gradually.
Executives said Europe would be challenging, but they would not estimate when GM would return to making money in the region.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. rose Friday on investor optimism that the electric car company's supply problems are being resolved and the ramp up in production of its key new model is on schedule.
Eastman Kodak Co. said Friday its second-quarter loss widened as revenue fell while it reorganized under bankruptcy protection.
The majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers surveyed remain optimistic regarding prospects for the U.S. economy.
Prices for industrial metals have fallen after new reports showed sluggish manufacturing in the U.S. and China, adding to concerns about slowing growth in the world's two biggest economies.
Employers added 163,000 jobs in July after three months of sluggish hiring, a pleasant surprise that could signal the U.S. economy may be resilient enough to shake off a midyear slump.
Toyota raised its sales target for this year to a record 9.76 million vehicles and reported a strong recovery in quarterly profit Friday, underlining its bounce back from a disaster plagued 2011.
First Solar shares have been rising since late Wednesday when the company reported an 82-percent surge in second-quarter profits.
China Southern Airlines says a subsidiary is buying 40 Boeing 737s worth $3.4 billion as part of its strategy to expand international routes.
The company, which was spun off last year from Fiat's car business, said net profit was $270M, up from last year, with the sales of agriculture equipment offsetting weaker truck and powertrain results.
U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pace.
General Motors and Ford lost ground to Japanese automakers last month as their rivals made a strong comeback from last year's earthquake.
A private survey shows U.S. businesses kept hiring at a modest pace in July, suggesting the job market could be improving after three sluggish months.
Harley-Davidson Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income jumped 30 percent, as demand for its motorcycles continued to grow both at home and abroad.
Italian carmaker Fiat reported Tuesday that second-quarter net income plummeted by 92 percent as a slump in European sales offset a profit at its U.S. carmaker Chrysler.
In June, consumers spent slightly more on services. But they cut back on autos and other long-lasting manufactured goods.