Stocks Wobble Amid Mixed Data

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. equity markets flip flopped over the unchanged line Friday as traders tried to make sense of mixed economic data.

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Today's Markets

As of 12:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.5 points, or 0.07%, to 16548, the S&P 500 advanced 0.79 point, or 0.04%, to 1884 and the Nasdaq 100 rose 5.9 points, or 0.14%, to 4133.

Wall Street is looking to close the week out with gains of about 1%.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, surging past the 210,000 jobs Wall Street expected, marking the biggest increase since January 2012. The jobless rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3%, its lowest level since September 2008. The labor force participation rate -- which gauges the proportion of the working-age population employed or seeking employment -- fell to 62.8% from 63.2% in March.

"Today’s employment report is quite strong on its face but some beneath the headline data points mitigate our enthusiasm," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.

"While the headline rate of job creation was quite good (strongest since early 2012) and it reflected our belief that a weather related snapback was coming, earnings and hours were both flat in the month and there was a fairly large drop in the size of the labor force."

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said orders at U.S. factories rose 1.1% in March, below analysts’ expectation for a 1.4% increase.

In corporate news, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) rebuffed a $106 billion buyout offer from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), saying it "substantially" undervalues the company. The brewing takeover battle is the latest in a string of high-profile M&A activity this year.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 25 cents, or 0.25%, to $99.67 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.23% to $2.945 a gallon. Gold climbed $3.40, or 0.26%, to $1,287 a troy ounce.

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