US STOCKS-Dow hits record as energy rises for 3rd straight day
* ADP private payrolls just short of expectations
* U.S. services sector readings show growth
* Energy shares rise for third session
* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to midday trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Dec 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose modestly on Wednesday as energy-related shares rose for a third straight session and data pointed to improving conditions in the U.S. services sector, which makes up a majority of the economy.
Market moves were slight, with many traders looking ahead to a key meeting of the European Central Bank. Still, the Dow hit an intraday record and the S&P was within four points of its record set last week.
The S&P 500 energy sector rose 1.3 percent as the top-performing sector on the day, up alongside a 0.6 percent increase in the price of crude oil. Cimarex Energy was the S&P 500's top percentage gainer, up 5.9 percent at $108.98. Diamond Offshore rose 3.7 percent to $31.46.
While the sector is on track for its third consecutive daily advance - and is up 3.3 percent over that period - the group remains the year's biggest underperformer. It is the only industry group to be negative on the year, pressured as crude has lost more than 30 percent from a recent high. Continuación...