U.S. stocks end higher after another volatile session

08:32, June 04, 2010      

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Wall Street ended higher after another volatile session on Thursday as investors were seeking hopes for a sustainable recovery in a batch of mixed data.

The Dow Jones industrial average scored its first two-day gains since April, edging up 5.74, or 0.06 percent, to 10,255.28.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.45, or 0.41 percent, to 1,102.83 and the Nasdaq rallied 21.96, or 0.96 percent, to 2,303. 03.

U.S. market opened higher, extending Wednesday's late-session surge, after reports showed the jobs market was slowly improving.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of people filing for jobless benefits fell for the second straight week to a seasonally adjusted 453,000, basically in line with market expectation.

Meanwhile, a separate report from ADP, a private payroll company, said private employers added 55,000 jobs in May, lower than the 60,000 forecast by economists. However, ADP revised its April data to 65000, more than double the previous estimate, offsetting the worse-than-expected May figure.

These data came a day before the Labor Department's monthly pay-roll report, which is closely watched by investors who are hoping to find evidence that U.S. economy was recovering from the recession. According to surveys, economists were expecting the economy added 513,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.8 percent. If the results turn out to be matching the estimates, it will be the biggest job increase in 26 years.

In addition, the Institute for Supply Management said that its service index was unchanged at 55.4 in May, the same level as April and March. The continuous expansion in service sector is a good sign that the economy will add more jobs since it accounts for 80 percent of all workers outside of farmers.

However, stocks erased gains and turned negative in mid-session, as more data came in worse than expected.

Reports showed factory orders rose less than forecast in April and productivity also slowed more than estimated in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, retailers reported mixed sales for May, a sign that consumers remain cautious.

Major indexes were zigzagging afterwards, finally finishing higher with the boost from energy and technology sectors.



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