Stocks flat following mixed earnings, more hiring

BERNARD CONDON AP Business Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are flipping between gains and losses in afternoon trading Friday as traders juggle mixed corporate earnings results and a government report showing a surprise surge in hiring last month. Escalating tensions in Ukraine weighed on the market. LinkedIn fell.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell a point to 1,881 as of 1:22 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,525. The Nasdaq composite rose a point to 4,128.

EYE ON UKRAINE: Investors are watching Ukraine, where pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern part of the country have shot down two Ukrainian helicopters in fighting with Ukrainian government forces. Early on Friday, the Ukrainian government launched what appears to be its first major offensive to regain control in the region. Russia said Ukraine's offensive "destroyed" a two-week-old agreement on defusing the crisis.

EARNINGS MISSED: LinkedIn fell $10.04, or 6 percent, to $151.18 after reporting its largest quarterly loss since going public. The professional networking service has been ramping up its investments in projects aimed at attracting more users. The company has fallen out of favor with investors amid concerns about the company's rising expenses and slowing revenue growth.

MORE JOBS: The U.S. Labor Department said employers added 288,000 jobs in April, about 70,000 more than expected. They also added more jobs in February and March than earlier estimated, according to the report. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest since September 2008. The drop mostly reflected more people giving up on their job searches. People aren't counted as unemployed unless they're looking for work.

Another negative from the report: Wages were unchanged in April, after adjusting for inflation.

QUOTES: "It's nice to see strong employment growth, but the decline in the unemployment rate isn't so good because of what's behind it," said Dan Morris, global investment strategist at TIAA-CREF. "All these long-term unemployed with atrophying skills ... they're not coming back into the labor force."

Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector research at Charles Schwab, said: "There isn't a ton of enthusiasm in the market."

BEAUTY BEAT: Estee Lauder rose $2.42, or 3 percent, to $74.61 after reporting quarterly results that beat analysts' estimates. Earnings at the beauty products company jumped 19 percent, helped by strength in emerging markets.

WIN FOR WYNN: Wynn Resorts jumped $12.70, or 6 percent, to $219.33 after reporting that its first-quarter net income grew 12 percent. The company cited strong gambling revenues from its growing operations in Macau.

NO DEAL: The board of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Friday rejected drugmaker Pfizer's latest takeover offer, calling it inadequate. Pfizer, the world's second-biggest drugmaker by sales, had proposed a $100 billion acquisition, its third attempt at buying AstraZeneca. Pfizer fell 47 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $30.68.

TREASURYS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.58 percent, matching its lowest level of the year. The price of crude oil rose 54 cents to $99.96 per barrel.