US open: Stocks up as ISM service sector gauge hits nine-year high

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The main Wall Street equity indices were moving higher on Thursday as investors digested the European Central Bank's unexpected decision to cut rates and a barometre of the service sector delivered a pleasant surprise.

The S&P 500 rose by 0.31%, moving above its intra-day record of 2,003.37 reached last Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq were advancing 0.34% and 0.58%, respectively.

The ECB cut its main refinancing rate by 10 basis points to 0.05% and the deposit facility by another 10 basis points taking it to -0.20%. At a press conference following the move, ECB President Mario Draghi also revealed plans to start buying covered bonds and asset backed securities.

ISM non-manufacturing index nearly at decade highs

The US trade deficit declined to $40.5bn in July, 0.6% lower than the downwardly-revised $40.8bn seen in June. Analysts had expected the trade gap to widen to $42.4bn.

Jobless claims rose 4,000 in the week to 30 August to reach 302,000, more or less in line with the 300,000 forecast.

The US private sector added 204,000 payrolls in August, down from 218,000 the month before and below expectations for a 220,000 increase. This meant that hiring in the private sector grew at its slowest pace in five months.

The ISM's US service-sector gauge jumped to a reading of 59.6 for the month of August, following a print of 58.7 for the month before (consensus: 57.7) - its highest since August 2005.

Yum Brands, Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news)

Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands fell after the company revealed that third-quarter results would be affected by weakness in China. The group said it has seen a "significant, negative impact" from the food scandal related to meat supplier Shanghai Husi.

Apple was rebounding following a heavy drop the previous session after the tech giant's fans were spooked by rival Samsung teaming up with Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) 's Oculus to launch a virtual reality-connected wearable device. Apple shares fell over 4% as investors wondered whether the wind could be taken out of the company's imminent iPhone 6 launch.

From a sector standpoint the best performance was being seen in the following industrial groups: clothing and accessories (2.36%), platinum and precious metals (1.88%) and industrial suppliers (1.86%).

Front month West Texas crude futures slipped 0.54% to $95.01 per barrel on the NYMEX.

US 10-year Treasury yields edged higher by four basis points to 2.44%.

S&P 500 - Risers
PVH Corp (NYSE: PVH - news) .

(PVH) $128.79 +9.95%
First Solar Inc (Xetra: F3A.DE - news) . (FSLR) $72.57 +4.56%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $32.65 +3.05%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $348.69 +2.86%
Fastenal Co. (FAST) $46.42 +2.74%
Cerner Corp. (CERN) $59.32 +2.17%
Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) $123.68 +1.75%
Nordstrom Inc (NYSE: JWN - news) . (JWN) $70.85 +1.74%
L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) $111.93 +1.62%
Fiserv Inc (NasdaqGS: FISV - news) . (FISV) $65.65 +1.55%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Ensco Plc (NYSE: ESV - news) . (ESV) $47.75 -2.95%
Joy Global Inc (NYSE: JOY - news) . (JOY) $60.85 -2.17%
Discovery Communications Inc (NasdaqGS: DISCA - news) . Class A (DISCA) $43.15 -1.95%
CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (NasdaqGS: CHRW - news) (CHRW) $67.06 -1.92%
Teradata Corp. (TDC (Other OTC: TDCAF - news) ) $44.96 -1.84%
Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE - news) plc (NE) $27.38 -1.69%
Frontier Communications Co. (FTR) $6.68 -1.62%
H&R Block Inc (NYSE: HRB - news) . (HRB) $33.04 -1.37%
F5 Networks Inc (NasdaqGS: FFIV - news) . (FFIV) $124.02 -1.36%
FMC Technologies Inc (NYSE: FTI - news) . (FTI) $58.93 -1.26%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Nike Inc (Sao Paolo: NIKE34.SA - news) . (NKE) $79.63 +1.03%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $89.70 +0.79%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS (KSE: 078935.KS - news) ) $180.87 +0.71%
Cisco Systems Inc (Xetra: 878841 - news) . (CSCO) $25.05 +0.68%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $87.31 +0.60%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $34.76 +0.55%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $126.58 +0.51%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $60.00 +0.50%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $60.78 +0.50%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $66.09 +0.41%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
AT&T Inc (Sao Paolo: ATTB34.SA - news) . (T) $34.86 -0.31%
Verizon Communications Inc (Xetra: 868402 - news) . (VZ) $49.73 -0.30%
Visa Inc (Xetra: A0NC7B - news) . (V) $214.49 -0.19%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $90.80 -0.15%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $98.96 -0.15%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $93.06 -0.09%

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