NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose in early trading on Wednesday as investors welcomed some encouraging news about the job market. The buying follows a rise in overseas markets amid hopes of a breakthrough in Greece's protracted discussions with its creditors.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 129 points, or 0.7 percent, to 18,141 as of 10:13 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose nine points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,118. The Nasdaq composite gained 29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,105.
JOB JOLT: Payroll processor ADP reported that U.S. companies stepped up hiring in May. Businesses added 201,000 jobs last month, up from just 165,000 in the previous month, suggesting the economy is slowly recovering.
On Friday, the government releases its much-anticipated jobs report for May.
EUROPE RISING: France's CAC 40 was up 0.6 percent while Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.5 percent. European government bond yields also moved broadly higher. The yield on Germany's 10-year bond rose to 0.87 percent from 0.72 percent the day before.
GREEK HOPES: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was heading to high-level meetings in Brussels to try to persuade creditors to accept a proposal that might unlock much-delayed bailout loans. Greece has to make a payment of just over 300 million euros ($333 million) to the International Monetary Fund this Friday. The country faces bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro if it fails to strike a deal, a development that could roil the 19-country eurozone.
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ANALYST TAKE: "Athens and its creditors are yet to reach a deal, but the feel-good factor is on the rise," said David Madden, market analyst at IG.
ECB IN FOCUS: The European Central Bank raised its forecast for inflation this year to 0.3 percent from zero previously, another sign that the risk of crippling deflation — a long-term drop in prices — may be fading. ECB President Mario Draghi made the announcement at a news conference after the bank's governing council decided to hold its key interest rate at a record low of 0.05 percent.
SALES JUMP: Clothing maker G-III Apparel Group surged $4.59, or 8 percent, to $64.68 after reporting earnings and revenue that came in well ahead of what Wall Street analysts were looking for.
MORE EXPORTS: A big drag on U.S. economic growth eased in April. The U.S. trade deficit declined sharply as exports posted a modest gain and imports fell. A surge in the deficit in the first three months of the year cut U.S. economic growth by nearly 2 percentage points, sending gross domestic product into the red.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.3 percent. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent while the Shanghai Composite was little changed.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 40 cents at $60.91 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil, was down 54 cents to $64.95 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.1253. The dollar fell to 124.13 yen.
BONDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.33 percent.