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Overnight Markets: Wall Street up on economic data
Shares gained as investors weighed data on the labour market and American services industry ahead of Friday's payrolls report.
Wall Street edged up on Thursday, rising for a third day, as investors weighed data on the labour market and American services industry ahead of Friday's payrolls report.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose seven points or 0.04%, to 14,937, the S&P 500 gained two points or 0.12%, to 1,655 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10 points or 0.27%, to 3,659.
Investors continue to deal with the possibility of a US-led strike against Syria, and US President Barack Obama faced growing pressure at the Group of 20 Summit in Russia not to use military force.
Growth in the US services sector accelerated in August to its fastest pace in almost eight years, while new jobless claims last week fell to a near five-year low. The ADP National Employment report showed US private employers added 176,000 jobs in August, nearly matching expectations. The data bolstered views the Fed could start slowing its bond-buying programme as soon as this month.
Fastenal Co (FAST.O) rose 6% after the seller of industrial and construction supplies reported a jump in August net sales as well as an increase in customers.
Retail stocks rose as many US retailers reported stronger-than-expected August sales. Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) reported same-store sales that beat expectations despite lower fuel prices, sending shares up 2.8%.
Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO.N) dropped 5.7% after a New York Post report that J.C. Penney (JCP.N) is scrapping a line of products that rival Macy's (M.N) has claimed violated its contract with Martha Stewart. J.C. Penney shares rose 5.3% and Macy's added 2.7%.
In deal news, Kaydon Corp (KDN.N) shares jumped 23% after Sweden's SKF (SKFb.ST) agreed to acquire it for $1.25 billion.
Louisiana-Pacific Corp. surged 11% after agreeing to buy Ainsworth Lumber Co. Groupon (GRPN) Inc. climbed 3.6% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock.
Telephone and utility companies retreated as rising bond yields reduced demand for equity income. AT&T Inc. fell 1.2%.
In Asia, shares declined on Friday in morning trade as investors await the monthly American jobs report.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent to 132.88 as of 9:46 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index slid 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) slid 0.4% ahead of tomorrow’s election.
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