Wall Street gains 1 percent on strong consumer and job data
By Caroline Valetkevitch | November 2, 2012 6:49 AM EST
Stocks rose 1 percent on Thursday as bullish consumer confidence and private-sector jobs data gave investors reason to cheer following superstorm Sandy's devastating sweep through the U.S. Northeast.
Technology and materials sector shares led the advance after data from payrolls processor ADP showed U.S. companies added 158,000 workers in October - the fastest pace in eight months. U.S. consumer confidence jumped in October to its highest level in more than four years, the Conference Board said.
The numbers paint a rosier economic picture before a key government report on nonfarm payrolls due on Friday.
Volume was near average, with 5.5 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and NYSE MKT in the early afternoon. Volume had been expected to spike after Sandy forced a historic two-day market closure earlier in the week.
"I think the numbers are trending well. In all, it bodes well for the bull side, and finally gave some investors a catalyst to buy," said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates, an investment advisory firm in Toledo, Ohio.
"Tomorrow I think will be more of a trump card and can take it all away."
Northeast residents and workers were still recovering from the aftermath of Sandy, which killed dozens of people in North America and the Caribbean, and wreaked havoc up and down the U.S. eastern seaboard.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 107.44 points, or 0.82 percent, at 13,203.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 12.86 points, or 0.91 percent, at 1,425.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 37.56 points, or 1.26 percent, at 3,014.79.
Providing more support for equity markets and other risky bets, official and private-sector factory surveys in China showed the world's second-biggest economy regaining some traction.
Shares of JDA Software Group
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)