S&P ends at new record on strong services sector growth data
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday with the S&P 500 ending at a new record as investors brushed off weaker-than-expected labor market data and focused on an acceleration in services-sector growth.
But trading volume continued to be light as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday and the U.S. government's May nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.
"Today's ADP (employment) figures were not enough to provide a direction for Friday's numbers," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
"We need a better indication of how the economy is really doing for the market to show a notable move."
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index showed that growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated more than expected in May and rose at the fastest pace in nine months. The ADP National Employment Report showed that fewer private-sector jobs were added in May than had been anticipated.
Among the day's biggest gainers were U.S. solar companies after the United States slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products from China in a preliminary determination. First Solar (FSLR.O: Quote) rose 3.9 percent to $65.39.
Semiconductor stocks also ranked among the market's leaders with Skyworks Solutions (SWKS.O: Quote) up 2.4 percent at $46.76 and Broadcom Corp BRCM.O up 3.3 percent at $37.07.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 15.19 points or 0.09 percent, to 16,737.53, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.64 points or 0.19 percent, to 1,927.88 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 17.56 points or 0.41 percent, to 4,251.64. Continued...