Solid ADP data propels Wall Street rally; Nasdaq at new high | Reuters

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday in a broad-based rally, spurred by a blowout private employment data that reinforced the strength of the economy.U.S. companies added 263,000 workers in March, the most since December 2014 and well above economists expectations of 187,000.The report by payrolls processor ADP acts as a precursor to the Friday's nonfarm payrolls data that includes hiring in both the public and private sectors."The GDP number was recently revised upward, jobs continue to look good, inflation is moving in the right direction ...(ADP) was just another piece of the puzzle that gives the market some confidence that we are still on track," said Myles Clouston, senior director at Nasdaq Advisory Services in New York.All the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were up, with financials .SPSY and technology .SPLRCT giving the biggest boost.The Nasdaq hit an all-time high, buoyed by Amazon (AMZN.O). Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) touching record highs.

At 12:33 p.m. ET (1633 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 152.3 points, or 0.74 percent, at 20,841.54, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 14.66 points, or 0.62 percent, at 2,374.82.The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 30.62 points, or 0.52 percent, at 5,929.23. It hit a record of 5,933.77.The ADP report drew investors back into the market after a period of range-bound trading amid worries about President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on his policy plans after recent setbacks in Congress.

However, investors are cautiously awaiting a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping that starts on Thursday.The meeting, which Trump expects will be a "very difficult one", is likely to focus on North Korea's arms program and China-U.S. trade.Lofty market valuations - in the wake of the post-election rally - will be tested when the first-quarter earnings season starts next week.

"Valuations from a historical standpoint are in the high end but as long as earnings growth and GDP continue to do well, there is argument that they are justified," Clouston said.Panera Bread (PNRA.O) jumped nearly 14 percent to $311.96 after JAB Holdings said it would buy the bakery chain for $7.16 billion.The Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its March policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,865 to 966. On the Nasdaq, 1,532 issues rose and 1,203 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 34 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 62 highs and 35 lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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Published Date: Apr 05, 2017 11:00 pm | Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 11:00 pm


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