* U.S. payrolls surge, jobless rate hits 5-1/2 year low
* Astrazeneca rejects Pfizer's raised bid of $106 bln
* Indexes off: Dow 0.1 pct; S&P 0.1 pct; Nasdaq 0.2 pct
(Updates to late morning session)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 2 U.S. stocks gave up earlier
gains on Friday, with major stock indexes turning modestly
negative by late morning trading, as investors booked profits
from advances earlier in the week.
Wall Street had earlier climbed following a payroll report
that suggested a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the
While the report provided an encouraging read on the labor
market, many market participants said Wall Street's gains over
the week made further advances unlikely.
"The market has gotten to fairly full level in terms of
valuation, and at this point, we need strong earnings to drive
the market higher. Economic news is not enough for some at this
point," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm
LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
So far in this earnings season, 75 percent, or 374
companies, in the S&P 500 have reported. Among those, 68.2
percent beat analysts' earnings expectations, 9.9 percent met
expectations and 21.9 percent were below estimates, according to
data complied by Thomson Reuters.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.15 points,
or 0.13 percent, to 16,536.72, the S&P 500 lost 1.31
points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,882.37 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 8.075 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,119.376.
Despite the day's decline, all three indexes are still up
more than 1 percent for the week.
U.S. job growth picked up 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 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.
In company news, 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 down 1.2 percent at $30.79.
LinkedIn Corp shares slipped 5.5 percent to
$152.79, 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.
Shares of Ares Management LP, the first U.S.
private equity firm to go public in about two years, fell to a
low of $18 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange after
being priced at $19, well below the expected range of $21-23, in
a turbulent IPO market. They were last trading at $18.36.
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. Merck shares lost 1.8 percent to
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Bernadette