It’s jobs day, and investors should have been dancing on their trading desks.
The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April, far better than the 205,000 jobs economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in April, down from 6.7% in March and beating the 6.6% forecast expected by economists.
The dip in the unemployment rate was mostly due to fewer unemployed people entering the workforce. Still, the number of jobs added was impressive by other measures, with the professional services, construction, and food and beverages sectors showing strength.
“All things considered, today’s report should be reassuring,” said Jim Baird, Chief Investment Officer for Plante Moran Financial Advisors. “It appears that employers have bought into the idea that the weak stretch was weather-driven and would pass with time.”
In corporate news, Linkedin ( beat revenue estimates Thursday, but shares plunged over 5% as investors worried about slowing growth for the career networking site. )
Retail drugstore chain CVS (Fortune 500) was up slightly, even though the company’s earnings came in short of estimates. ,
Shares of AstraZeneca ( were flat after the company rejected an improved )bid for the British company from Pfizer (Fortune 500)worth £50 ($ 84.47) per share, or $ 106.4 billion. Pfizer shares slipped. ,
“The financial and other terms described in the proposal are inadequate, substantially undervalue AstraZeneca and are not a basis on which to engage with Pfizer,” AstraZeneca said in statement.
U.S. stocks closed mixed Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed slightly lower, failing to hit new record highs. The Nasdaq logged modest gains thanks to rebounding social networking stocks.