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Market Update

Payrolls Data Support Indexes on Wall Street and in Europe

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:59 PM ET February 06 2015

3:00 PM New York Market indexes on Wall Street pulled back from record high and jobless rate to 5.6% after more people began to look for work and employers added net new jobs of 257,000 extending the job one-year long jobs market expansion.

U.S. stock indexes pulled after reaching towards record high and investors digested latest earnings and jobs data.

Employers at all levels added net 257,000 jobs in January following upwardly revised November and December data. Payrolls in the last two months were revised higher by a total of 147,000.

In all of 2014, the U.S. economy added on average of 260,000 net jobs a month.

In a separate report, the Labor Department said today that the jobless rate edged up 5.7%, from 5.6% as more people returned to job market in search of employment.

Average hourly earnings increased only 0.5% in January, a substantial slowdown after running at 2% increase in the previous two months.

The jobless rate is determined by using a separate survey of households and monthly jobs data is calculated using the survey of establishments.

Most economists sounded optimistic on the quality of jobs data but January month remains difficult to assess employment picture.

Transient weather and seasonal layoff at retail stores after the burst in hiring during the holiday period makes it difficult to gauge overall jobs picture across the nation. In addition, statistical smoothening also plays a part in determining the assessment that is closer to economic reality.

U.S. Movers

Harris Corporation (HRS) soared 7.9% or $5.53 to $75.02 after the satellite and other communications equipment maker reported revenue in the second-quarter ending in December slid 0.8% to $1.21 billion form a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter rose 2.4% to $139.5 million or $1.32 a diluted share compared to $136.2 million or $1.26 from the same quarter last year.

Separately, today the company agreed to acquire defense contractor Exelis Inc for cash and stock valuing the company at $23.75 per share or about $4.75 billion.

Shareholders of Exelis will receive $16.625 in cash and 0.1025 of a share of Harris amounted to about $23.75 a share.

The transaction is expected to close in June 2015.

Shares of Exelis Inc surged 35.1% to $23.92.

LinkedIn Corp (LNKD) surged 14.6% or $34.72 to $272.69 after the professional network service provider said revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in December soared 43.9% to $643.4 million from a year ago period.

Net income in the quarter tumbled 20.9% to $2.99 million or 2 cents a diluted share compared to $3.8 million or 3 cents from the same quarter last year.

Twitter Inc (TWTR) soared 16.3% or $6.70 to $47.96 after the micro-blogging service provider reported revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in December climbed 97.4% to $479.1 million from a year ago period.

Net loss in the quarter narrowed to $125.4 million or 20 cents a diluted share compared to $511.5 million or $1.41 from the same quarter last year.

For the first-quarter, the company forecasted revenues between $440 million and $450 million and adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $89 million to $94 million.

For the year, Twitter forecasted revenues in the range of $2.3 billion to $2.35 billion and adjusted EBITDA between of $550 million to $575 million.

European Markets

Stocks in Europe gained for the fifth day in a row and the meeting between leaders of Germany and France and Russia failed to resolve Ukraine crisis in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir V Putin disagreed to strong message from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to respect the Ukrainian border as defined before the crisis erupted in the eastern region.

Investors focused on the latest jobs data from the U.S. and bid up stocks after the release of the report.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged down 0.94 to 6,864.99 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 0.6% or 59.96 to 10,845.45.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.2% or 7.59 to 4,695.71.

Statoil ASA rose 0.4% to 140.90 kronor after the Norway-based energy group said total revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in December declined 2.9% to 152.6 billion kronor from 157.1 billion kronor.

Net in the quarter swung to a loss from a year ago to 8.9 billion kronor compared to profit of 14.8 billion kronor and loss per share swung to a 2.80 kronor from earnings per share of 4.64 kronor.

The Norway controlled energy company enlarged the scope of cost cutting and also halted dividend growth after the recent plunge in oil prices.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc