A better-than-expected jobs report tops our round-up of the morning's top business news stories.
Job Growth Far Surpasses Expectations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the U.S. economy created 248,000 new jobs in September, far exceeding expectations. Also, the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in September and those two numbers together produced optimism in early market trading. While job growth continues, the BLS said hourly wages have not increased. The average hourly wage actually fell one penny in September to $24.53, while the average work week moved up to 34.6 hours.
Chase Adds Details to Computer Breach
JP Morgan Chase has added details to the customer information breach it suffered over the summer, saying that it included information from 76 million households and seven million small businesses. However, the cyberattack only included names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses and not bank account numbers, Chase officials said. Also the only customers affected were those using the Chase.com website, JPMorganOnline services and the apps ChaseMobile and JPMorgan Mobile. The bank also said there is no evidence the hackers got other key information like passwords, Social Security numbers or dates of birth. The bank says it has seen no unusual customer fraud since the attack was first reported in mid-August.
Schwab Targets Pimco Fund
Reuters reports exclusively that Charles Schwab Corp has dropped the Pimco Total Return Fund from its 10 target date funds. The firm completed its review of the fund this week, a company spokesperson told Reuters. Last Friday, Bill Gross, manager of the fund, announced he left the firm he co-founded to join Janus Capital Group.
Robert Iger Gets Two-Year Extension
The Walt Disney Co. believes in chairman and CEO Robert Iger. The company announced Thursday it has extended his contract by two years through June 30, 2018. In a statement issued Thursday, board member Orin Smith called Iger "the architect of Disney's success." Iger, 63, was named as the company's CEO in 2005. During his tenure, Disney's market capitalization grew from $48.4 billion in 2005 to $150 billion, the Associated Press reports. Under his watch, Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm and expanded its status as an entertainment and media empire, which includes ABC and ESPN. Disney shares have risen 34 percent over the past year.
High-Frequency Trader Facing Charges
In the first case of its kind under changes to the federal commodities law in 2010, Michael Coscia, 52, a New Jersey high-frequency trader is facing charges for allegedly manipulating commodities prices by issuing false signals to the market and then profiting off them while using software that executes trades within milliseconds, federal prosecutors in Chicago announced Thursday. The Associated Press reports that Coscia is accused of making around $1.5 million by illegally placing orders through the Chicago-based CME Group and European futures markets in 2011. Coscia faces six counts each of commodities fraud and "spoofing," which refers to signaling that an order is being placed without intending to follow through. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.
NBC Cameraman Contracts Ebola
Ashoka Mukpo, a 33-year-old freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia, has tested positive for Ebola and is being flown back to the United States for treatment. NBC News said the cameraman was hired on Tuesday to be a second camera operator working with NBC News Chief Medical Editor and Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who is on assignment in Monrovia reporting on the Ebola outbreak. Mukpo came down with symptoms on Wednesday.