US adds 175,000 jobs; stock markets rally

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May - a steady pace that shows strength in the face of tax increases and government spending cuts, if not enough to reduce still-high unemployment.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent in April, the Labor Department said Friday.

The rate rose because more people began looking for work, a healthy sign, but only about three-quarters of that group found jobs.

Analysts said the less-than-robust job growth will likely lead the Federal Reserve to maintain the pace of its monthly bond purchases for a few more months as an economic stimulus.

The report gave a boost to stock market bulls. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average both rose more than 1 percent on Friday.

Walmart plans buybacks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Walmart's biggest news at its annual meeting on Friday was that the world's largest retailer will repurchase up to $15 billion of its shares at a time it faces increased scrutiny from investors about its business overseas.

Consumer borrowing up

Americans borrowed more in April to attend college and buy cars and spent a little more with their credit cards than in March, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

The Associated Press