MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Edge Up To Records Again, But No Dow 17,000

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Victor Reklaitis and Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks mostly inched higher Wednesday, building slightly on the prior day's sizeable advance, as a better-than-expected report on private-sector hiring underscored the economy's recent strength.

The Dow industrials(DJI) rose 20.17 points, or 0.1%, to end at 16,976.24, putting it once again within striking distance of 17,000, while the S&P 500(SPX) nudged up 1.30 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 1,974.62. Each index scored a record close for the second straight day.

The Nasdaq(RIXF) bucked Wednesday's positive trend, falling 0.92 point, or less than 0.1%, to close at 4,457.73. The tech-heavy index snapped a three-session winning streak.

Investors are awaiting Thursday's monthly jobs report, and even a surprisingly strong private-sector jobs report couldn't jolt the market to life. Thursday's report is expected to show a net gain of 215,000 non-farm jobs and a steady 6.3% unemployment rate.

The ADP report, which showed 281,000 new private-sector jobs, has "not been a good indicator" for the jobs report, but still "the growth bulls will be pleased, and the "whisper numbers" for the jobs report will probably rise, said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities, in emailed comments. (Read more: What the ADP report tells us http:// www.marketwatch.com/story/this-changes-every-ok-nothing-but-adp-still-good-sign-2014-07-02.)

In addition to Wednesday's economic data, investors took in comments from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, with at least one analyst seeing a "slightly dovish" tone. The S&P 500 rose to a session high as the full text of Yellen's speech came out, but then quickly pared its gain.

Checkout MarketWatch's live blog of Wednesday's stock market action

Among individual stocks, Constellation Brands Inc. ( STZ ) gained 2.3% after the distributor of Corona beer and Svedka vodka posted better-than-expected quarterly results. Meanwhile, Rackspace Hosting Inc. ( RAX ) jumped 6.7% following a report the cloud-services company is thinking of going private.

On the downside, GoPro Inc. ( GPRO ) slid 13.9% for its first daily loss since debuting last week. (Read more in MarketWatch's Movers & Shakers column http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-constellation-brands-paychex-are- stocks-to-watch-2014-07-02.)

In other markets, August oil (CLQ4) fell, while gold futures (GCQ4) edged up. Stocks in Asia finished higher, including a 0.3% rise of Japan's Nikkei Average , and the Stoxx Europe 600 extended gains from Tuesday when it notched its strongest performance in two months.

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This article appears in: US Markets , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: GPRO , RAX , STZ , STZ.B

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