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Friday Morning Business Brief

May 2, 2014, 6:18 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are still uncertain about which way the U.S. economy is headed. Encouraging news yesterday wasn't enough to give the stock market a fourth straight day of gains. The S&P 500 index fell a quarter of a point to 1,883 on Thursday and the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 22 to 16,558. The Nasdaq composite, however, did rise 13 points to 4,127.

  • The stock market could get a boost today from the government's monthly employment data report. Economists are predicting that employers added 210,000 jobs in April and the jobless rate dipped to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent.  Also today, the government releases March factory orders. And CVS Caremark, Chevron and Berkshire Hathaway will report quarterly earnings.
  • Asian markets were quiet in Friday trading ahead with the benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange closing little changed.  The Nikkei slid 0.2 percent to finish at 14,457.51, as market players remained cautious ahead of a four-day weekend. Monday and Tuesday are national holidays in Japan.
  • The board of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has rejected drug maker Pfizer's sweetened takeover offer. The board says in a statement Friday that the terms are inadequate and substantially undervalue AstraZeneca. It says the board did not hesitate in rejecting the proposal.
  • California jurors are continuing to deliberate in a legal fight between Apple and Samsung over smartphone technology. The four men and four women left the federal courthouse in San Jose on Thursday after a full day of deliberations. They will resume considering the case later today.


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