Some good news on the labor front: after heading higher for three straight months, the nation’s unemployment rate declined to 9.1 percent in July, down from 9.2 percent in June, according to figures just released by the U.S. Department of Labor. The economy added 117,000 jobs last month. July’s numbers beat analysts’ forecasts. Investors are hoping the news will help dispel fears of a double-dip recession and quell some of the sell-off frenzy seen in the stock market this week, which led to the largest one-day drop in the Dow since the financial upheaval following Lehman Brothers’ collapse.
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