* U.S. payrolls surge, jobless rate hits 5-1/2 year low
* Astrazeneca rejects Pfizer's raised bid of $106 bln
* Futures: Dow 3 pts; S&P 5 pts; Nasdaq 13.25 pts
(Updates with payrolls report)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 2 Wall Street was set for a
slightly higher open on Friday following a better-than-expected
payrolls report that suggested a sharp rebound in economic
activity early in the second quarter.
* U.S. job growth increased at its fastest pace in more than
two years in April and the unemployment rate dived to a 5-1/2
year low of 6.3 percent, the Labor Department said. The payrolls
gain of 288,000 was the largest since January 2012 and beat Wall
Street's expectations for an increase of just 210,000.
* The unemployment rate tumbled 0.4 percentage point,
touching its lowest level since September 2008. The Labor
Department attributed the decline to a drop in the number of
unemployed people reentering the labor market as well as a fall
in new entrants into the labor force.
* The strong numbers come after data Thursday showed the
number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend continued
to point to improving labor market conditions.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures added 5 points and were
slightly higher than fair value, a formula that evaluates
pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and
time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average
futures rose 3 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added
* U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc 's sweetened 63 billion
pound ($106 billion) bid for AstraZeneca Plc was
promptly rejected by the British company Friday.
Pfizer shares were little changed in premarket trading.
* LinkedIn Corp shares slipped 1.5 percent in
premarket trading, a day after the social networking company
forecast 2014 revenue below Wall Street's expectations,
underscoring concerns about its ability to sustain its rapid
growth and helping to drag its shares lower.
* German drugmaker Bayer AG is nearing an
agreement to buy Merck & Co Inc's consumer healthcare
unit, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could
value the business at around $14 billion.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)