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Morning Market Roundup: Greek Contraction, Japanese Slowdown, Google Layoffs

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

Greece: The Greek statistical authority says the country's deep recession has eased slightly, although the economy still contracted 6.2 percent in the second quarter from the same period last year.

In the first quarter, the contraction was 6.5 percent.

No quarterly figures were provided in the figures published Monday.

Debt-crippled Greece has been in recession for five years, and the cumulative shrinkage is expected to reach 20 percent at the end of this year. The government has said the recession could exceed seven percent in 2012.

Google: Google said Monday that it will cut about 4,000 jobs at its Motorola Mobility wireless phone business and will close or consolidate about one-third of Motorola's 90 locations.

The reductions represent about 20 percent of Motorola Mobility's 20,000 employees, and two-third of the job cuts will take place outside of the U. S. The company said Monday that Motorola Mobility has lost money in 14 of the past 16 quarters.

Google said the changes are intended to make the unit profitable, but warned that investors should expect the business' revenue to fluctuate over the next few quarters.

Google said it also will shift Motorola Mobility's focus from simple wireless phones to more profitable devices.

The restructuring will cost Google about $275 million in severance costs, which will largely be recognized during the third quarter. The company also expects to book an unspecified amount in restructuring charges, mostly in the third quarter.

Japan: Japan's economy grew at a slower-than-expected annualized rate of 1.4 percent in April-June, adding to worries over the global outlook, as consumer spending flagged following a rebound from last year's earthquake and tsunami disasters.

The protracted crisis in Europe took a heavy toll, also, as feeble demand hit Japan's export sector.

Although the pace of growth dropped sharply from a revised 5.5 percent in the previous quarter, the economics minister, Motohisa Furukawa, struck an upbeat tone, saying in a statement that the economy "continues in an uptrend, led by domestic demand

Stock Futures: Stock futures were mixed Monday after a report from Japan showing slower-than-expected economic growth.

There had been hopes that China would roll out stimulus measures over the weekend after Beijing released terrible industrial and retail numbers Friday. That did not happen.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 15 points to 13,157 and the broader S&P futures slipped 1.1 points to 1,401.30. Nasdaq futures were flat at 2,721.50. By the end of trading Monday, with no action apparent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell marginally to close at 8,885.15.

The lack of growth globally is pushing U.S. corporations to cut costs to offset the slow growth, or decline, in net income.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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