Stocks Opend Higher on jobs, Europe

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday after monthly data had the U.S. jobless rate falling to a two-and-a-half year low and as policymakers again appeared to move a step closer to tackling Europe’s debt crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 80.56 points to 12,100.59. The S&P 500 added 8.81 points to 1,253.39. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 19.52 points to 2,645.72.

The unemployment rate fell to a 2-1/2 year low of 8.6 percent in November and companies stepped up hiring, further evidence the economic recovery was gaining momentum. Nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, in line with economists’ expectations for a gain of 122,000.

The International Monetary Fund is happy to play a behind the scenes role in resolving the European debt crisis, which needs to be tackled with fiscal consolidation and structural reforms, the lender’s chief Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

Zynga Inc plans to sell an 11.1 percent stake in a scaled-back initial public offering that would value the Facebook game maker at as much as $9 billion on a fully diluted basis. The leading social games maker plans to sell 100 million new shares at between $8.50 and $10 each, according to a U.S. regulatory filing on Friday.

Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $3.6 billion to buy wireless airwaves from a venture of cable companies Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc and privately held Bright House Networks. Comcast, owner of 63.6 percent of the SpectrumCo LLC venture, will receive about $2.3 billion from the sale, Verizon Wireless said on Friday.






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