Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday, after the release of strong U.S. employment data added to optimism over the recovery of the U.S. job market, although the recent tapering of the Federal Reserve's stimulus program continued to weigh.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 added 0.13%, the S&P 500 edged up 0.17%, while the NASDAQ Composite gained 0.42%.
The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, beating expectations for a 210,000 increase. March's figure was revised up to a 203,000 rise from a previously estimated 192,000 gain.
The private sector added 273,000 last month, more than the expected 210,000 rise. In March, the number of private sector jobs was revised up to a 202,000 increase a previously estimated 192,000 rise.
The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in April, from 6.7% the previous month, compared to expectations for a fall 6.6%.
The data came after the Fed on Wednesday said it would reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion to a total of $45 billion a month, in a widely expected decision.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) saw shares decline 0.64% after the U.S. drugmaker raised ts bid for Britain's Astrazeneca to $106.5 billion.
LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) added to losses, down 2.26%, after the company gave a second-quarter sales forecast that missed analysts' estimates.
On the upside, Nike (NYSE:NKE) shares added 0.18% after Chief Executive Mark Parker said on Thursday the footwear and athletic apparel company was considering shifting its production within China following a major strike at a supplier's factory.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), scheduled to report quarterly results.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed to lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.26%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.45%, Germany's DAX slipped 0.22%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.22%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.57%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.19%.
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