US STOCKS-Wall St edges up following strong jobs report
* U.S. payrolls surge, jobless rate hits 5-1/2 year low
* Astrazeneca rejects Pfizer's raised bid of $106 bln
* Indexes up: Dow 0.2 pct; S&P 0.2 pct; Nasdaq flat (Updates to open)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday following a payroll report that suggested a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter.
Still, while the report provided an encouraging read on the labor market, investors said Wall Street's gains over the week made further advances unlikely.
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 headline number handily beat expectations, which bodes well for the whole weather theme we saw throughout the first quarter," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York. Continuación...