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Stocks edge higher after employment report

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2014 at 2:40 pm •  Published: April 2, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Major U.S. stock indexes are edging up to record-high levels after a private survey showed that U.S. companies increased hiring at a rapid pace last month. The report is the latest sign that the economy is strengthening after an unusually harsh winter.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,890 as of 3:33 p.m. Eastern time. The index is at an all-time high. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,580, also just above its own record closing high reached Dec. 31. The Nasdaq composite rose seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,275.

NOW HIRING: A private survey showed that U.S. companies stepped up their hiring in March. Payroll processer ADP said private employers added 191,000 jobs. ADP also revised February's job creation up to 153,000 from the 139,000 figure reported earlier. The report comes ahead of the government's monthly jobs report, scheduled to be released on Friday.

MANUFACTURING STRENGTH: There was more encouraging news on manufacturing Wednesday as the Commerce Department reported that orders to U.S. factories rose 1.6 percent in February, the most in five months. On Tuesday the S&P 500 closed at a record high after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index rose in March.

SLUMPING ENROLLMENT: Apollo education slumped $3.08, or 8.8 percent, to $32.08 after the company reported revenue that fell short of investor's expectations. The company said new student enrollment at its University of Phoenix fell drank 16.5 percent.

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