S&P ends at new record on strong services sector growth data

NEW YORK Wed Jun 4, 2014 7:19pm EDT

A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Files

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday with the S&P 500 ending at a new record as investors brushed off weaker-than-expected labor market data and focused on an acceleration in services-sector growth.

But trading volume continued to be light as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday and the U.S. government's May nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.

"Today's ADP (employment) figures were not enough to provide a direction for Friday's numbers," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.

"We need a better indication of how the economy is really doing for the market to show a notable move."

The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index showed that growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated more than expected in May and rose at the fastest pace in nine months. The ADP National Employment Report showed that fewer private-sector jobs were added in May than had been anticipated.

Among the day's biggest gainers were U.S. solar companies after the United States slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products from China in a preliminary determination. First Solar (FSLR.O) rose 3.9 percent to $65.39.

Semiconductor stocks also ranked among the market's leaders with Skyworks Solutions (SWKS.O) up 2.4 percent at $46.76 and Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O) up 3.3 percent at $37.07.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 15.19 points or 0.09 percent, to 16,737.53, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 3.64 points or 0.19 percent, to 1,927.88 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 17.56 points or 0.41 percent, to 4,251.64.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX jumped 1.8 percent to 12.08, its third straight daily advance. But the index, considered the market's fear gauge, was still well below the historical average of 20, a trend that some interpret as a sign that investors have become complacent.

In company news, Protective Life (PL.N) surged 18.1 percent to $69.36 in heavy trading after Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co (8750.T) agreed to buy the company for $5.7 billion.

The stock of Tibco Software Inc (TIBX.O) was one of the Nasdaq's most active, slumping 5.4 percent to $19.66 a day after the company gave a second-quarter outlook sharply below expectations.

NQ Mobile Inc (NQ.N) soared 30.9 percent to $9.99, its biggest one-day advance ever, rising on heavy volume after the Chinese mobile security software maker said a special committee had found no evidence of fraud, following an accusation made by short-seller Muddy Waters Research Group.

Trading volume was light at around 5 billion shares on U.S. exchanges, below last month's average of 5.75 billion, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (4)
It’s flat because we are nearing the top. We need to realize that gold is coming down, equities are at the end of their rope, and fixed income will face rising interest rate headwinds. We need alternative places to stash our savings. I am doing the following:

1. Moving money to muni bonds. They are taxed less, increasing the net to me, and still have some nice yields.

2. I needed some extra life insurance coverage. I got a policy that will net me about 4-5% over time in tax deferred dividends from LifeAnt Insurance. Not bad for something that protects my family too (you need life insurance if you don’t have it, and you may as well profit from it ;) ).

3. I started a small business that did not take a lot of startup capital. It does not make a ton of money yet but it should grow over time, and we are already capital positive.

4. I am putting some money back into my house because we need to move to a bigger one within a couple years, but this is also tax deferred growth and can give a nice return when done correctly.

5. I bought some limited partnerships in real estate deals. I don’t think real estate is quite as inflated as equity markets, but at the very least it is more diversity.

I’m definitely waiting for a better chance to move back in the market.

Jun 04, 2014 10:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
brotherkenny4 wrote:
I know, let’s try to brainwash the masses and turn them into vacuous consumers who self destruct in the future as their lives will be unsustainable and they’ll never learn useful skills. It may just be a temporary fix, but it should give us a short term boost even though it will permanently damage the lives of the morons who are susceptible to our scam. Oh wait, weve already done that one. Oh Oh Oh, I know, let’s convince a bunch of dummies that they can afford huge houses, we can then package these morgages as investment options and we’ll tell the people who buy them that the home owners are sound investments and are stable hard working people, oh wait we tried that one too. Well, h e double hockey sticks, let’s just start another oil war and stick the tax payers with the cost while corporations with government access get the contracts for everything like we always do. Okay? Okay. I suggest Venezuela has socialist terrorist anticapitalist leanings and may already be trying to infiltrate our government. Okay, CIA, do your stuff.

Jun 04, 2014 12:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bertanderson wrote:
It’s not too late to catch the upward momentum. S&P should hit 2000, unemployment improving, productivity improving, home sales improving, government spending going down, banks under control and very profitable, sales on new cars and other goods screaming ahead…win win situation. They only thing is interest rates are so low that the safe investors (retirees etc. are getting nothing for their money which is holding back some spending). But those who are active traders or fully invested in the stock market are making a killing. Companies are benefiting from the cheap money!!

Jun 04, 2014 2:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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