Utilities Up On Rates Calculations -- Utilities Roundup

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Shares of power-plant operators rose slightly as traders hedged bets on the interest-rate outlook ahead of Friday's jobs report. A weak reading of July inflation further reduced the odds of a hike in December, which futures markets already put at less than one-in-three. Any weakness in the jobs report could confirm this bias, and one brokerage is expecting a slightly weaker reading for August than has been the trend recently.

"Following two months of above-200,000 prints, we are looking for the pace of job gains to have eased in August, though to a still-robust pace," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note. Among the reasons for the sub-optimal reading are the seasonal weakness typical in August as the effects of back-to-school season are felt in short-term worker and teacher employment estimates.

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Southern Co.'s Georgia Power told state regulators it wants to continue the Vogtle nuclear power plant expansion in spite of sharply higher estimates of the cost to complete the project. After cancellations of a sister project in South Carolina, the move means that part of the new wave of nuclear construction in the U.S. might be salvaged, as reported earlier.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 31, 2017 16:37 ET (20:37 GMT)