Closing Update: S&P 500 Extends Run With New Record High; Dow, Nasdaq Composite Also Close Higher

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The S&P 500 again closed at a record high Wednesday as stocks rose for a fourth day in row, supported by rising expectations the March employment report later this week will show an improving jobs market. Mining and materials stocks and shares of consumer discretionary companies led equities higher today after a new report showed private employers added nearly 200,000 new workers last month. Manufacturing activity also showed continued strength in a new report.

Blue-chips also rallied Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading in record territory for much of the session only to slip back under its previous high just before the close.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, speaking this afternoon at a business event in Miami, said the U.S. economy would need to be growing at a 3% annual pace for the central bank to consider raising interest rates. He also said the slump earlier this year increasingly looks to be largely weather-related, saying economic activity should continue to improve along with the advance of more temperate temperatures.

U.S. private employers added 191,000 workers in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report, narrowly trailing the market consensus looking for 195,000 new hires. Also, February factory orders swelled 1.6%, topping estimates for a 1.2% gain, led by gains in aircraft orders, defense capital goods and autos.

Crude oil for May delivery slipped 12 cents to settle at $99.62 per barrel while May natural gas was up 9 cents at $4.36 per 1 million BTU. June gold rose $10.90 to finish at $1,290.80 per ounce.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the end of today's session:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 40.39 (+0.24%) to 16573.00

S&P 500 up 5.38 (+0.29%) to 1890.90

Nasdaq Composite Index up 8.42 (+0.20%) to 4276.46

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Hang Seng Index up 0.34%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 0.56%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.10%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) MNKD, FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly recommends the full agency approve the company's Afrezza inhaled insulin powder to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

(+) HRS, Shares climb to new record high after the communications equipment company announced $49 million in new orders for its highly secure two-way handheld radios by an unidentified Asian government for its national security forces.

(+) ENVI, Said it will provide compression and encryption technology for high-definition premium live sports channels for a Tier 1 service provider in Europe on Apple ( AAPL ) TV.

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) UNF, Fiscal Q2 earnings, revenue trail analyst estimates while projected FY14 EPS also lags Wall Street expectations by at least $0.16 per share.

(-) APOL, Receives Education department subpoena seeking details of its marketing and recruitment activities. Q2 revenue declines 18.6% year over year to $679.1 mln, trailing consensus view by around $9.92 mln. Q2 EPS tops estimates.

(-) AGEN, GSK stops Magriti study using its adjuvant product



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.


This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AAPL

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