S&P 500 Notches Another Record as Labor Outlook Improves

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday and the S&P 500 extended its record closing high after a rise in factory orders and growing private sector job creation boosted investor confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24% to 16,573, while the S&P 500 gained 0.29% to 1,890.90. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to 4,276.46.

  • Private payroll processor Automatic Data Processing reported that U.S. private sector jobs rose by 191,000 in March versus the average economist's estimate of 195,000. The February figure, though, was upwardly revised to 178,000 from 139,000.
  • Factory orders rose 1.6% in February, the most in five months, after falls of 1% in January and 2% in December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart will speak about the economic outlook in a speech at 12:30 p.m. and St Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard will deliver a speech at 5 p.m.
  • MannKind soared 74% after it won the support of an FDA advisory panel Tuesday for its rapid-acting inhaled insulin Afrezza.
  • Amazon slid 0.3% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has rolled out a new service allowing customers to return unwanted merchandise using large metal lockers it has installed in major metropolitan areas. Amazon also announced Fire TV, its new streaming device, on Wednesday.
  • The top gainer in the S&P was Intuitive Surgical , which rose 5% after adding 13% on Tuesday as the Food and Drug Administration cleared an upgrade of its robotic surgery system. Tyson Foods was the worst performer in the S&P, dropping 4.6%.
  • International markets were mostly higher. The Hang Seng closed up 0.34% while the Nikkei added 1.04%. The FTSE was finished up 0.10% while Germany's DAX was up 0.20%
  • Major U.S. stock indices rose Tuesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record high of 1,885.52, after stronger-than-expected manufacturing data suggested the economy is shaking off a slow start to the year amid harsh winter weather and as Yellen assured investors that monetary policy will remain supportive.

-- By Jane Searle, Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York