US Stocks Trade Higher Amid Data

NEW YORK – US stocks traded on an upbeat note Thursday as investors digested a batch of economic data.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 173.05 points, or 0.72 percent, to 24,347.87. The S&P 500 was up 18.03 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,731.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 55.38 points, or 0.74 percent, to 7,558.05.

The Dow gained as Intel and Merck & Co Inc. were among the best performers. Shares of the companies rose 2.67 percent and 2.02 percent, respectively, around midday. Tech sector rose more than 1 percent, underpinning the S&P 500. The Nasdaq Composite’s advances were mainly led by Skyworks Solutions and Qualcomm. Shares of both companies jumped more than 3 percent.

Investors paid close attention to several key data.

The U.S. private sector employment increased by 177,000 jobs from May to June, said data provider ADP and Moody’s Analytics on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in the week ending June 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 231,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 228,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to publish the minutes from its latest central banking meeting Thursday afternoon. Investors will pore through the minutes looking for clues about future monetary policy moves.

This article provided by NewsEdge.