Reports help nudge market higher
by Matthew Craft, Associated Press Writer
October 04, 2012 12:00 AM | 484 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEW YORK — A pair of encouraging economic reports helped nudge the stock market higher Wednesday. Measures of business activity in the service sector and job growth last month came in better than economists had expected.

The market’s gains were held in check by a slump in energy stocks and Hewlett-Packard’s 13 percent plunge. In a meeting with analysts and investors, Meg Whitman, H-P’s CEO, predicted weak earnings and sales for the foreseeable future.

The Dow Jones rose 12.25 points to close at 13,494.61. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 5.24 points to 1,450.99.

“The price action today seems boring, but the economic data is pretty strong,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of service companies, which includes everything from financial firms to clothing stores, rose in September to the highest level since March. The index reached 55.1. Economists had estimated it would drop to 53.4.

But concerns over an economic slowdown in Europe, China and the U.S. helped push the price of crude oil down $3.75 to $88.14 a barrel. Energy stocks fell sharply as a result. After H-P, Chevron had the worst loss in the Dow, giving up $1.82 to $116.14.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides