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Overnight Markets: Jobs data lifts Dow to another record high
by Himanshu Singh on Mar 07, 2013 at 03:27
Wall Street gained on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting another record, as a private payroll survey showed companies hired more workers than estimated and the Federal Reserve said the economy is growing.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 points, or 0.3%, to 14,296, another record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up two points, or 0.11%, to 1,541. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped two points, or 0.05%, to close at 3,222.
Energy and material shares led the advance after companies added 198,000 workers in February, according to a private report based on payrolls. The increase in employment followed a revised 215,000 gain the prior month, figures from the ADP Research Institute showed on Wednesday.
A Labour Department report this week may show private payrolls rose by 170,000 last month, according to the Bloomberg survey median.
Contributing to the positive sentiment, the Fed said in its Beige Book report that the US economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace across most of the country amid rising consumer demand for homes and autos.
Peabody Energy rose 3.5%, while Chevron Corp gained 0.5%. Newmont Mining rose 3.7% while US Steel Corp added 3.9%. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc was the S&P 500's top percentage gainer, up 4.1%.
Tech shares weighed on the Nasdaq, with Microsoft Corp down 0.9% after the European Union fined the company $731 million for failing to offer users a choice of web browser. Google Inc fell 0.9% after hitting an all-time intraday high earlier in the session.
Staples shares tumbled 7.2% after the largest US office supply chain reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and forecast weak earnings for the full year.
Elsewhere, Bank of America Corp. jumped 3.2% to lift financial shares. VeriFone Systems Inc. rose 8.6% as the maker of credit-card terminals reported earnings that beat its forecasts.
In Asia, shares declined on Thursday in late morning trade led by Samsung Electronics Co. and Australian banks.
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