Stocks edge higher as US service sector improves

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing slightly higher as enthusiasm about an improving U.S. service sector outweighed concerns about China.

The market started the day lower on news that manufacturing contracted in China in April for the fourth month in a row.

Indexes erased their losses in mid-morning trading after a U.S. trade group reported that service firms grew more quickly last month.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,884. Utilities stocks rose the most in the index, a sign that investors remain cautious.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,530. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,138.

Walgreen rose 1 percent after the company reported revenue from established drugstores rose sharply last month.