* U.S. consumer sentiment drops, hitting stocks
* Non-farm payrolls rise 146,000, exceeding expectations
* CombiMatrix soars after favorable medical studies
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P off 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.6 pct
(Updates to midday; changes byline)
By Gabriel Debenedetti
NEW YORK, Dec 7 The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq
slipped on Friday after consumer sentiment unexpectedly dipped,
dampening early enthusiasm from a better-than-expected
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary
consumer sentiment index plunged to 74.5 in early December, the
lowest level since August.
Wall Street opened higher after U.S. Labor Department data
showed non-farm employment increased more than expected, with
146,000 jobs added in November.
"The gain was sharper than expected, particularly in light
of the hurricane, so certainly that was a pleasant surprise.
We'll take it," said Gordon Charlop, managing director at
Rosenblatt Securities in New York.
The equity market has regained most of the ground it lost
following President Barack Obama's re-election as markets turned
their focus to the coming "fiscal cliff." Market response to the
macroeconomic data remained muted as negotiations continued to
command investor attention.
"We will just have to see overall how much of an effect one
number can have on what is really a market that is pointing
towards Washington and fiscal cliff negotiations," Charlop said.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said that talks this week
with President Barack Obama produced no progress, and he renewed
his demand that the president provide a new offer to avert the
series of tax increases and spending cuts that are likely to
hurt economic demand in 2013.
Still, the market's resilience - the S&P 500 is just 4.1
percent below the 2012 intraday high of 1,474.51 reached in
mid-September - suggests investors still see a deal coming to
fruition before long.
"I think the market has priced in an expectation that
something may get done, and if it doesn't, it would be done
shortly after January first, so I don't see any worries in the
market," said Jeff Meyerson, head of trading for Sunrise
Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42.66 points,
or 0.33 percent, to 13,116.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
dipped 0.12 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 1,413.82. The
Nasdaq Composite Index lost 16.38 points, or 0.55
percent, to 2,972.89.
Amarin Corp shares slid 19.2 percent to $9.66 after
the biopharmaceutical company raised $100 million in financing
to help it launch its heart drug, Vascepa, but disappointed
investors, who had hoped for a sale or partnership.
CombiMatrix Corp shares soared 180.2 percent to
$5.52 after the company said two studies published in a medical
journal favored technology it uses for prenatal diagnosis of
genetic abnormalities over traditional technologies.
In contrast, shares of Netflix Inc gave up earlier
gains and slipped 0.4 percent to $85.83 following news that the
Securities and Exchange Commission was considering taking action
against the company and its Chief Executive Reed Hastings for
violating public disclosure rules with a Facebook
After falling nearly 10 percent so far this week, Apple Inc
shares were down 2.5 percent at $533.59 on Friday.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by
Bernadette Baum and Jan Paschal)