US open: S&P 500 extends record after ADP data

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - S&P 500 pushes past record high
- ADP (Frankfurt: W7L.F - news) payrolls rise 191,000, close to forecasts
- Factory orders bounce back

Dow Jones: 0.18%
Nasdaq: 0.23%
S&P 500: 0.24%

US stock markets opened with small gains on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 extending an all-time high after economic data showed a decent increase in private payrolls in March.

"ADP employment change figures came in just a whisker away from market expectations and might encourage Friday's ever important non-farm employment change figures to come in close to expectations," said Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst at IG (LSE: IGG.L - news) .

The S&P 500 was trading 0.2% higher at 1,890 in early trading after hitting a record high of 1,885.52 on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both rose 0.2%.

According to Automatic Data Processing (NasdaqGS: ADP - news) , private sector payrolls increased by 191,000 last month, up from 178,000 in February which was revised sharply higher than the initial estimate of 139,000. Consensus estimates were for a gain of 195,000.

Analyst Cooper Howes said that the data puts the three-month average at 164,000, a bit softer than the 187,000 average in 2013 "but still indicative of steady private payroll growth".

He said he is still confident of Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) ' forecast for a 225,000 increase in official non-farm payrolls, due to be released on Friday, as well as a one-tenth decline in the unemployment rate to 6.6%.

In other economic data, US factory orders rose by 1.6% to $488.8bn in February, according to the US Department of Commerce, ahead of the 1.3% that had been forecast and bouncing back from a 1% decrease in January.

Mortgage applications, including both refinancing and home purchases, declined by 1.2% in the week ended March 28th, compared with a 3.5% decline the previous week.

Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) , MannKind (NasdaqGM: MNKD - news)

Netflix was swinging between gains and losses amid reports that the online video-subscription service will seek to avoid French rules on financing and promoting French-language movies when targeting that market.

MannKind surged after the biopharmaceutical company's inhaled treatment for diabetes won the recommendation of a US advisory panel

Apollo declined as the owner of the University of Phoenix (LSE: PHNX.L - news) said it received a subpoena from the Education Department for marketing and recruitment records.

BC

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