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Today's Stock Market News and Earnings Calendar

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.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 1.22% to 15,628.46. The S&P 500 ticked up 1.24% to 1,773.43, and the Nasdaq grew 1.14% to 4,057.12.

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.

Others Reporting Earnings

Cigna Corp (NYSE: CI), CBOE Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CBOE), Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (NYSE: WYN), Moody's Corp. (NYSE: MCO)

Don't Miss: The Staggering Numbers Your Bank Doesn't Want You to See

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