Closing Bell: Stocks End Short Session Higher Ahead of July 4 Break

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Seth Wenig/AP
U.S. stocks ended Wednesday's shortened trading session higher as encouraging news about the nation's job market outweighed concerns about Egypt's turmoil, higher oil prices and Europe's debt crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial index (^DJI) added 56 points, more than recouping Tuesday losses, to end at 14,988, while the broader S&P 500 (^GPSC) gained a point to 1,615 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 10 to 3,443.

Payroll processing firm ADP (ADP) said that U.S. employers added 188,000 jobs in June, more than the 155,000 forecast by economists, according to data provider FactSet. The government's weekly jobless claims report provided evidence that layoffs remain low and job gains steady. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to 343,000, the Labor Department said.

Another report showed that U.S. services firms grew at a slower pace in June from May but added more jobs.

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages eased this week after last week's surge, declines that could prompt homebuyers to act quickly before rates rise further. Mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac said the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.29%. That's down from 4.46% last week, the highest in two years and a full point more than a month ago.

Among stocks making moves Wednesday:
  • Alcoa (AA) fell 1.2%, to $7.71 after the Citigroup (C) analyst Brian Yu reduced his second-quarter and full-year profit predictions for the aluminum producer, citing low prices for the metal.
  • AutoNation (AN) gained 71 cents, or 1.6%, to $45.27 after Credit Suisse raised its rating on the stock to "outperform" from "neutral," citing a positive outlook for the company's parts and servicing business.
  • Yahoo (YHOO) rose 2.4% to $25.59 after the Internet company announced it was buying mobile-app maker Qwiki for a reported $50 million. The deal is Yahoo's third acquisition since May when it bought blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash.
  • Boeing (BA) climbed more than 1% to $102.89 after news it delivered more planes than competitor Airbus in the first half of this year. The Chicago-based aerospace company has delivered 306 jetliners so far, including 17 787s. Boeing is playing catch-up with those deliveries because of the problems with the 787's battery earlier this year. It is aiming to deliver 60 of those planes this year.
  • Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) fell $6.05, or 8.1%, to $68.85 adding to Tuesday's 5.7 percent slump. The Chinese government is investigating the nutritional products maker for possibly violating anti-monopoly laws in its pricing of infant formula, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.
  • Shares of Honeywell International (HON) rose nearly 1% after federal regulators gave the company go-head to resume operations at a plant that helps make nuclear fuel, following a yearlong shutdown. The plant has been closed since May 2012 after the government ordered Honeywell to make the site able to withstand natural disasters.
What to watch Thursday:
  • U.S. stock and bond markets are closed for Independence Day; trading resumes Friday.
  • On Friday, all eyes will be on the latest jobs numbers, due out from the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus view is that the report will show U.S. employers added 161,000 jobs in June and the nation's unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percentage point to 7.5%.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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Good news for who?. Not the millions unemployed.

July 05 2013 at 8:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Mickey D's must be doing great...They added 188,000 $7.75 jobs in June

July 05 2013 at 8:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

what if Washington didn't tax manufacturing jobs at all? do you think they would come back to the US?

July 05 2013 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good job President Obama cleaning up the mess from bush jr. and the GOP

July 05 2013 at 5:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good jobs story? Something stinks here! Maybe it's BO!

July 04 2013 at 9:41 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Keep drinking the kool-aid! Where is the good news about jobs?

July 04 2013 at 7:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Democrates and young people,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,GOOGLE ,Democrate KKK........
Guess who started it,,,,,,,,DEMOCRATES,!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT BELEIVE ME,,,
GOOGLE IT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,YOU MAY LEARN SOMETHING.!!!!!!!

July 04 2013 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They got worried about votes.!!!!

OBAMA CARE IS NOT FREE....................What now Democrate Voters.....

July 04 2013 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdbliz's comment

People who can afford health insurance but don't get it is not free either. YOU pay. People who can not afford health insurance but show up at hospital emergency rooms is not free either. YOU pay.

July 04 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

To be adjusted down next month as do most 'leading' indicators. How many of these jobs are sesonal menials????? Stock market no more than a govermentally protected ponzi scheme. Wonder what numbers would look like if we still operated under the gold standard?

July 04 2013 at 5:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to richjack4's comment

Thank you for a good post.!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 04 2013 at 5:38 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

There is NOT enough gold in the world to back our money. To buy gold, we would have to print money to afford it.

July 04 2013 at 8:02 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

lived through the 70's and 80,'s - same funny numbers back then as now

July 04 2013 at 4:56 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply