NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks were little changed Wednesday after a survey showed that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month. The Standard & Poor's 500 surged to an all-time high a day earlier with its biggest gain since October.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were little changed Wednesday after a survey showed that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month. The Standard & Poor's 500 surged to an all-time high a day earlier with its biggest gain since October.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,876 as of 11:23 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nine points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 16,376. The Nasdaq composite rose eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,359.
JOBS: Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from 127,000 in January, however January's figure was revised sharply lower from an original estimate of 175,000. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often differ from the government's more comprehensive survey of the U.S. employment market. The Department of Labor releases its monthly report Friday. Economists believe the U.S. will report that employers generated 145,000 jobs in February.
WHISKEY IN THE JAR: Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel's Whiskey and other alcoholic drinks, rose $3.15, or 3.8 percent, to $87.16 after the company reported earnings that beat analyst's expectations and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
GAME ON: GameStop, a retailer of video games, climbed $1.22, or 3.3 percent, to $38.58 after the company said late Thursday that it would increase its annual dividend by 20 percent to $1.32 a share.
RISING PROFITS: Smith & Wesson jumped $1.99, or 17.1 percent, to $13.82 after the gun maker's quarterly performance topped expectations and its outlook surprised Wall Street. Gun sales surged last year in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and other shootings. Many gun enthusiasts went on a buying spree, fearing new laws restricting gun ownership.
WILD WEEK: The stock market has had a volatile week as investors followed the developments in Ukraine. Stocks slumped on Monday as tensions rose after Russia sent troops into the Crimea region of Ukraine. The market rebounded on Tuesday, climbing to a record high after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine to return to their bases.
RALLY INTACT: "We're returning to normality," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Fund Management. "What the market now trades on is fundamentals, and the fundamentals are still good."
As long as the Federal Reserve keeps up its support of the economy and companies can keep growing their earnings, stocks can keep rising, Manley said. Company earnings are forecast to climb 8.1 percent in the fourth quarter to a quarterly record of $28.49 per share for S&P 500 companies, according to S&P Capital IQ.
TREASURYS AND COMMODITES: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was unchanged at 2.70 percent from Tuesday. The price of oil fell $1.16 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $102.16 a barrel. Gold rose $1.20, or 0.1 percent, to $1,339.40 an ounce.