US stocks edge higher as unemployment rate drops

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are inching higher in early trading Friday after the government reported that employers added more jobs than expected in April and the unemployment rate hit its lowest level in five years. Several companies fell after reporting mixed earnings for the latest quarter.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,613 as of 10:25 Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,891. The Nasdaq rose 15 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,142.

MORE JOBS: The U.S. 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. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest since September 2008.

MISSED: LinkedIn fell $7, or more than 4 percent, to $154.18 after reporting its largest quarterly loss since going public. The online professional networking service has been ramping up its investments in projects aimed at attracting more users. The company has fallen out of favor with investors amid concerns about the company's rising expenses and slowing revenue growth.

BEAUTY BEAT: Estee Lauder rose $2.81, or 4 percent, to $75. The beauty products company reported the quarterly earnings jumped 19 percent, helped by strength in emerging markets.

NO DEAL: The board of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Friday rejected drugmaker 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. Pfizer fell 31 cents, or 1 percent, to $30.86.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.64 percent from 2.61 percent Thursday. The price of oil rose 11 cents to $99.52 per barrel.