US stock futures rise as unemployment rate drops

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures are up slightly after the U.S. unemployment rate hit its lowest level in more than five years. The government reported the unemployment rate sank to 6.3 percent.

KEEPING SCORE: Futures wavered after the jobs report came out but held onto their gains. Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 26 points, or 0.2 percent, 16,514. Eastern time. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up three points at 1,881 and Nasdaq futures are up six points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,593.

JOBS: The Labor Department said employers added 288,000 jobs in April. They also added more jobs in February and March than earlier estimated, according to the report.

MISSED: Shares in CVS Caremark fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading Friday after it reported first-quarter results that fell short of analyst expectations. Still, earnings jumped 18 percent as generic drugs and an acquisition helped the drugstore weather a tough winter for most retail stores.

NO DEAL: The board of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Friday rejected drug maker Pfizer's latest takeover offer, calling it inadequate. Pfizer, the world's second-biggest drugmaker by sales, had proposed a $100 billion acquisition, its third attempt at buying AstraZeneca.

GETTING BETTER: Further evidence emerged Friday to show that unemployment across Europe's 18-country currency zone is sliding. Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said unemployment across the eurozone fell to 18.91 million. The unemployment rate, however, was unchanged at 11.8 percent for the third month running.

EUROPE'S MARKETS: France's CAC-40 fell 0.5 percent, while Germany's DAX was unchanged. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Government bond prices are little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 2.62 percent, unchanged from late Thursday. The price of oil rose 34 cents to $99.76 per barrel.