The Orange Leader
NEW YORK — An encouraging look at the job market helped send the stock market higher Wednesday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average tore through its previous record high.
The Dow was up 59 points to 14,312 a half hour after the opening bell. Bank of America led the way, gaining 2 percent to $11.81.
Companies added 198,000 workers to their payrolls in February, according to payment processor ADP. The survey also revised the previous month's numbers up: employers added 23,000 more jobs in January than first reported.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose four points to 1,543. The Nasdaq rose three points to 3,227.
The Dow closed Tuesday at 14,253.77, clearing the previous closing record by almost 90 points. The index of 30 big corporations has more than doubled since hitting a low during the financial crisis in March 2009.
Microsoft was one of the few Dow members to fall in Wednesday trading, dropping 1 percent. European regulators fined the company for failing to follow an antitrust agreement requiring Microsoft to offer computer users a choice of Internet browsers, instead of just Internet Explorer.
The ADP survey suggests that looming government spending cuts have yet to deter employers from hiring. Investors look to the ADP survey for hints on the closely watched Labor Department report, which comes out Friday. Economists expect it to show employers added 152,000 jobs in February, lowering the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent.
The ADP report also drove yields up in the bond market, as traders began anticipating a better monthly jobs report from the government on Friday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.93 percent from 1.90 percent late Tuesday.
Expectations of a stronger economy tend to lure traders out of Treasurys and into other investments that rise with economic growth.