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Today's stock market news, Feb. 7, 2014: The U.S. markets rose on Thursday as jobless claims were lower than expected, and hopes for an improving labor market surged.
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate fell to 6.6%, from an expected 6.7%. While the rate declined, the economy created 113,000 jobs in January, versus the 185,000 from economists' forecasts. The labor participation rate increased slightly to 63% from 62.8% in December.
In addition to the jobs report, here are the stories to watch in today's stock market.
Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, Feb. 7, 2014
- In a staggering report by EPFR Global, total outflows from emerging market equity funds since Jan. 1 have already exceeded the total investors withdrew during all of 2013. The Boston research company told subscribers last night that investors have pulled more than $6.37 billion from emerging equity funds and $1.98 billion from bond funds from New Year's Day through Feb. 5. The capital flight back to the United States and safer markets signifies growing concern over the long-term security of these nations' economies.
- Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced it has spent nearly half of the $100 billion it has earmarked to repurchase stock. The company spent nearly $14 billion in the last two weeks repurchasing shares, according to CEO Tim Cook. Shares of Apple are up 2% in early morning trading.
- Shares of LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) slid in post-hours trading by nearly 6% after the company beat consensus estimates and reported it now has 277 million members. It is the latest online company to show earnings growth, but experience a sell-off due to receding expectations from shareholders. The company also announced it had acquired Bright, a job-matching-service company, for $120 million. The deal consisted of 73% stock and 27% cash. Get the full story on what's next for LNKD stock here.
- According to the Financial Times, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) may sell its semiconductor business. The company is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) to find potential suitors for the company. However, it may take a substantial offer to make the deal happen. IBM could consider a joint venture as an alternative.
- Reports on Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) currently owning a 5.94% stake in Lenovo Group (OTC: LNVGY) are premature, according to reports. Instead, Google might purchase a $750-million stake in Lenovo Group in the event that the computer company finalizes its deal to purchase Motorola Mobility. According to a filing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Lenovo agreed to purchase Google's Motorola handset division last week for $2.91 billion. Google will keep most of the mobile patents after the deal. Lenovo has been busy in 2014 – which is a bullish signal for its stock...
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U.S. Economic Calendar Feb. 7, 2014
- Nonfarm payrolls at 8:30 a.m.
- Unemployment rate at 8:30 a.m.
- Hourly earnings at 8:30 a.m.
- Average workweek at 8:30 a.m.
- January consumer credit at 3:00 p.m.
Key Companies Reporting Earnings Feb. 7, 2014
- Consensus earnings per share for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is $1.66.
- Consensus earnings per share for Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BLP) is $0.86.
- Consensus earnings per share for Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) is $0.82.
- Consensus earnings per share for The Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE: MSG) is $0.67.