The highly anticipated monthly jobs report hit the wires today, blowing expectations out of the water -- in some respects. The surface-level numbers were spectacular: total nonfarm payroll employment expanded by 288,000 jobs in April, far above the 215,000 figure economists were expecting, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 6.3%. But the labor force eroded by more than 800,000 people last month, as the labor force participation rate reached an all-time low. Investors didn't like the subtext to the report, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) lost 45 points, or 0.3%, to end at 16,512.
While the Dow faltered on Friday, shares of blue chip component Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) finished the week on a strong note, adding 0.9%. On Tuesday, Disney announced it had resigned the major original players (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill) from the original trilogy for 2015's Star Wars: Episode VII film. The next day, the soundtrack for last year's animated hit film Frozen finished at the top of the billboard charts for a 12th time, as the megahit continues to pay dividends for Disney. This coming Tuesday, the company will report quarterly results, so stay tuned to see whether the stock can follow up its 2.7% gain this week with more gains.
Elsewhere in the market, shares of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ: MPEL ) finished as major movers, surging 6.1%. As goes Macau, so goes Melco -- and according to new data, business in Macau was hot in April. Total gaming revenue rose 10.6% from April 2013, easily surpassing the 7% growth Wall Street was looking for. On top of that, Melco Crown competitor Wynn Resorts topped expectations in its most recent quarter, painting an optimistic view of the current state of the casino industry.
Alas, investors in World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE ) didn't enjoy the kind of day Disney and Melco Crown shareholders experienced. The stock plunged 7.4% Friday, even after tacking on 4.3% yesterday as the company beat quarterly revenue expectations. Initially the market received WWE's quarter with jubilance, but the company's $8 million loss isn't sitting well, despite the fact that losses were projected to be between $12 million and $15 million. Though sales have steadily increased each year since 2009, net margins have compressed since then, and earnings have fallen from more than $50 million in 2009 to less than $3 million last year.
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