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US stocks open higher despite weak hiring numbers

February 7, 2014

U.S. stock markets rebounded from the pre-market slump that came after the released of the disappointing jobs data, and now above the levels before the jobs report. Wall Street took in a second straight month of weak job growth, but stocks regained their footing nonetheless, perhaps because investors were downplaying the weak data due to severe winter weather that has hurt the economy. Payrolls rose 113,000 in January, less than the 180,000 advance projected as retailers cut back after the holidays and government hiring fell. The  unemployment rate  unexpectedly declined to 6.6 percent, the lowest level since October 2008. Stocks initially reacted negatively to the data, before bouncing back Equities futures whipsawed in the 30 minutes after the jobs report, with the  S&P 500  contracts erasing a 0.5 percent gain to fall as much as 0.5 percent before reversing. -The S&P 500 Index rose 0.65% to 1784.90 The S&P 500 gauge is heading for a 0.3 percent drop this week, which would mark its longest streak of weekly losses since August 2011. The equities benchmark has lost 3.7 percent from a  record  on Jan. 15 amid signs of slowing growth in  China  and a rout in emerging-market currencies. The index yesterday posted its biggest gain this year, as claims for  unemployment benefits  fell and earnings from Walt Disney Co. surpassed estimates. The 1.2 percent rally came after the gauge plunged 2.3 percent on Feb. 3, the most since June, after disappointing data on manufacturing raised concern about the strength of the world's largest economy. Stock markets worldwide had recently been knocked lower by tepid U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data as well as a rout in emerging currencies, fuelled in part by the start of the U.S. Federal Reserve`s stimulus withdrawal. -The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.31% to 15678.19 -The NASDAQ Composite rose 0.67% to 4084.21 . As of 09:55 a.m. ET Corporate earnings Stocks got a little boost from Apple, as the iPhone maker said it bought $12 billion worth of shares via an accelerated share repurchase program, and an additional $2 billion from the open market in the period of two weeks following its earnings report. Apple's share rose over 1.7 percent after the opening. LinkedIn shares fell 8.0 percent after the social network for professionals gave revenue forecasts that were below those of analysts. Shares of Fairway Group Holdings tumbled 28 percent in trading a day after it posted quarterly results and announced changes in management.

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Source: Financial Markets

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