Stocks higher on jobs, business-activity reports

NEW YORK -- Stocks rose Wednesday following a choppy opening and after better-than-expected reports on private employment and business activity.

The Dow Jones rose 49 points to 13,532 shortly after 9 a.m., Pacific time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 1,453.

Payroll processing firm ADP estimated Wednesday that the economy added 162,000 jobs in September, higher than consensus estimates of 140,000.

However, ADP reports have not been consistently reliable predictors of the Department of Labor's monthly unemployment report, which is due out Friday.

Investors also were reacting to Institute for Supply Management data released Wednesday morning indicating that the U.S. non-manufacturing sector was busier than expected in September.

And the market is keeping an eye on Spain, which may seek financial intervention from the European Central Bank.


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