Wall Street up slightly on payrolls

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stocks advanced slightly on Friday, pulling back after the S&P 500 earlier scaled a fresh high, as the March payrolls report suggested the economy may be gaining momentum.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in March, just shy of the 200,000 forecast, after rising 197,000 in February.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent.

With a solid pace of hiring for a second month, the economy appears to be recovering from a winter-linked slowdown earlier in the year.

“Overall, people are taking this as a sign there isn't some sort of underlying weakness in the economy,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

“It has fit into people's belief that most of the weakness we saw earlier was due to the weather and not something really changing about the economy.”

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 25.50 points, or 0.15 percent, at 16,598.05.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 3.20 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,891.97.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10.08 points, or 0.24 percent, at 4,227.66.

The S&P touched a record high of 1897.28, the third time this week that the index has set an intraday record.

Mylan Inc rose 5.8 percent to $52.73 after a report said the company was looking to acquire Swedish rival Meda AB.

Mylan also sued Celgene Corp on Thursday to stop the latter's effort to keep generic versions of two drugs that generate $4.5 billion of annual sales off the market.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp gained 3 percent to $101.93.

The company said Thursday it would pay more than $5 billion to clean up areas across the United States polluted by nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste, resolving a long-running lawsuit.

Boeing Inc is considering buying Mercury Systems Inc, a supplier of digital signal and image processing systems to the aerospace and defense industry, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mercury shares jumped 6.9 percent to $14.15.

Boeing was up 0.6 percent at $129.57.

CarMax Inc, fell 3.7 percent to $45.79 after the largest retailer of used cars reported fourth-quarter results.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc plunged 22 percent to $8.99 after the company said it was temporarily halting enrolment of patients and dosing of its cancer drug in a mid-stage trial on patients with pancreatic cancer, after the recommendation of an independent safety committee. - Reuters



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