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Morning Market Roundup: United Reaches Labor Agreement, U.S. Futures up, Toyota Sales up


Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

United: United Airlines says it has a deal with union negotiators on a new labor contract with its own pilots and those from the former Continental Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said Friday that the agreement is an important step in creating a single workforce at the company, which was formed by a 2010 merger.

The deal is still subject to approval by governing boards of the two pilot groups and by rank-and-file pilots.

Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed. The pilot groups were seeking pay raises and limits on outsourcing of flying to other airlines.

Both the United and former Continental pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, but by separate groups within the union. A federal mediator was brought in to help with the negotiations, and a member of the U.S. National Mediation Board also weighed in.

Toyota: 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.

Toyota Motor Corp. said April-June profit zoomed to 290.3 billion yen ($3.7 billion) from 1.1 billion yen the year before. Its new sales target would represent a 23 percent increase from the 7.95 million vehicles sold in 2011, and is 180,000 vehicles more than Toyota's last forecast in February.

The car maker's quarterly sales soared nearly 60 percent to 5.5 trillion yen ($70.5 billion), rebounding from a sales crash that all Japanese automakers suffered after the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan in March last year.

Toyota said quarterly vehicle sales nearly doubled from the year before to 2.3 million vehicles as sales rose in regions including North America, Europe, Japan and the rest of Asia. The regaining of U.S. market share is crucial for Toyota as that is where it makes the bulk of its profits.

Toyota, which makes the Camry sedan, Lexus luxury model and Prius hybrid, has had hard times in the past several years, including recalls of more than 14 million vehicles that began three years ago and came amid faltering global demand from the financial crisis.

But Toyota has been recovering. For the first half of this year, it regained its spot as the world's top automaker in global vehicle sales, beating U.S. rival General Motors Co., as well as Volkswagen AG of Germany. Toyota officials have played down the importance of being No. 1.

U.S. Futures: Stock futures rose sharply after a July jobs report claimed 163,000 jobs were added last month.

Dow Jones industrial futures added 119 points to 12,950 and the broader S&P futures rose 14.6 points at 1,376.50. Nasdaq futures tacked on 31.75 points to hit 2,650.25.

However, despite the supposedly good news, the Labor Department said Friday that unemployment ticked up to 8.3 percent, from 8.2 percent.

The Dow Jones added 40 points immediately after the report was released, a clear sign of relief in the markets after several dismal months of hiring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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