US STOCKS-Wall St set for slightly higher open after payrolls report

viernes 2 de mayo de 2014 08:45 GYT

* 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 (Reuters) - 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 13.25 points.   Continuación...