Stocks Opened Slightly Lower after Strong Jobs

U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday after a much-anticipated jobs report said the economy created 271,000 jobs in October, the biggest gain this year, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates before the year ends. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 14.73 points, or 0.08%, to 17,848.70. The S&P 500 was down 5.75 points, or 0.27%, to 2,094.18. The Nasdaq Composite was off 5.01 points, or 0.10%, to 5,122.73.

U.S. job growth surged in October after two straight months of tepid gains, with the unemployment rate hitting a 7-1/2-year low of 5.0 percent in a show of domestic strength that makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December. The economy generated 271,000 new jobs last month, with all but 3,000 coming in the private sector, the government said Friday.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) said Friday it has entered a merger agreement with Chinese Internet TV platform Youku Tudou YOKU, +8.88% Alibaba will pay $27.60 per Youku American Depositary Share in cash, equal to a 35.1% premium over the ADS’ closing price on Oct 15, a day before Youku revealed a “going private” proposal from Alibaba.

Syngenta AG (SYNN) is discussing with DuPont Co. (DD) a potential combination with DuPont’s agriculture division, according to people familiar with the matter. DuPont is also separately discussing a potential alternative agriculture deal with Dow Chemical Co.

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