* ADP employment below estimate; previous month revised up
* Factory orders rebound in February
* MannKind shares soar as diabetes drug gets FDA backing
* Dow up 0.2 pct; S&P 500 up 0.3 pct; Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
(Updates to close)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, April 2 The S&P 500 closed at another
record high on Wednesday as signs of steady private-sector
hiring suggested that the economy was slowly building momentum
after a winter-related pullback.
That also put more focus on Friday's government jobs data,
which is among the most widely watched economic indicators.
"There's positioning ahead of that report," said Bucky
Hellwig, senior vice president of BB&T Wealth Management in
He also said "there was money moving in at the end of the
quarter so now there's an upward bias."
The jobs report is expected to show that employers added
200,000 to nonfarm payrolls in March, the largest gain in four
months, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
Eight of 10 S&P 500 sector indexes ended in positive
territory, led by the consumer discretionary sector index
, up 0.7 percent.
Wednesday's data from payrolls processor ADP showed U.S.
private-sector employers added 191,000 workers in March,
slightly below the 195,000 forecast, while gains in the previous
month were revised to 178,000 from a previously reported
139,000, signaling that a winter-related impact on job growth
earlier this year was easing.
Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods jumped 1.6
percent in February, the biggest rise since September and above
a 1.2 percent estimate, the Commerce Department said. January's
durable goods orders were revised to show a larger drop of 1.0
percent instead of the previously reported decline of 0.7
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.39 points or
0.24 percent, to end at 16,573. The S&P 500 gained 5.38
points or 0.29 percent, to finish at 1,890.90, a record closing
high. The S&P 500 also hit an intraday record high of 1,893.17.
The Nasdaq Composite added 8.416 points or 0.20
percent, to close at 4,276.456.
Shares of MannKind Corp soared 73.9 percent to end
at $6.99. U.S. health advisers recommended approval of the
company's inhaled diabetes drug on Tuesday.
Among the day's decliners, fertilizer company Agrium Inc
said a late start to spring and railroad-related
backlogs will result in first-quarter earnings per share just
above breakeven. Its shares lost 1.4 percent to $96.15.
In another weather-related announcement, Delta Air Lines
said flight cancellations reduced its March quarter
profit by $55 million. Shares dipped 0.1 percent to $35.70.
Apollo Education Group Inc tumbled 8.8 percent to
$32.06. The company reported lower-than-expected quarterly
revenue. Apollo also said it had received a subpoena from the
U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General,
seeking information about the operations of the Northeast region
of the University of Phoenix.
DFC Global Corp gained 5.2 percent to $9.45. The
pawn and payday lender said it would be acquired by private
equity firm Lone Star Funds for about $1.3 billion, including
About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges,
slightly below the 6.5 billion average so far this month,
according to data from BATS Global Markets.
Advancers beat decliners on the New York Stock Exchange by
1,721 to 1,289 and on the Nasdaq by 1,473 to 1,150.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum, Nick Zieminski and Jan Paschal)