US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs after 2-day decline; focus on jobs data

jueves 2 de abril de 2015 17:25 GYT
 

(Adds Micron shares lower, closing levels for the week)
    * Investors look to payrolls data due on Good Friday
    * Most S&P 500 sectors higher
    * CarMax rallies on results
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct

    By Caroline Valetkevitch
    NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks bounced on
Thursday after two days of declines following encouraging data
on the labor market, but mixed data this week kept investors on
edge before Friday's key payrolls report.
    The consumer discretionary sector, as measured by the S&P
consumer discretionary index, was the day's
best-performing sector. The index rose 0.9 percent, helped by
gains in CarMax. The stock jumped 9.3 percent to $74.73
following stronger-than-expected quarterly results.
    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits unexpectedly fell last week. The report
followed lower-than-expected readings on private sector
employment and manufacturing on Wednesday.
    The data has given a mixed picture of the economy ahead of
the March jobs report, due on Friday, when the stock market is
closed for the Good Friday holiday. Stock investors will be
unable to trade off the report until Monday.
    The Federal Reserve has said it will not raise interest
rates until it deems the economy strong enough to withstand such
a move, which will raise borrowing costs and possibly crimp
spending. A below-consensus jobs number on Friday could ease
concerns of a nearer-term rate rise, strategists said.
    For the week, the S&P and Dow each rose just 0.3 percent,
while the Nasdaq dipped 0.1 percent.
    "It's safe to say there's quite a of bit of uncertainty in
the market and you're kind of seeing that translate into a lot
of volatility with not a lot of direction," said Joe Bell,
senior equity analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in
Cincinnati.
    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.06 points,
or 0.37 percent, to 17,763.24, the S&P 500 gained 7.27
points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,066.96, and the Nasdaq Composite
 added 6.71 points, or 0.14 percent, to 4,886.94.
    Micron Technology shares lost 1.5 percent to $26.72,
a day after the company forecast lower revenue for the current
quarter.
    Shares of Motorola Solutions Inc fell 6.2 percent to
$62.51. A Bloomberg report, citing people with knowledge of the
matter, said the company has failed to find a buyer after
seeking to raise interest from private equity funds and large
industrial companies.
    The S&P energy index ended up 0.2 percent despite
lower crude prices. Oil fell after a preliminary pact between
Iran and global powers on Tehran's nuclear program, although
officials set further talks in June and analysts questioned when
the OPEC member will be allowed to export more crude.
    The release of the U.S. monthly jobs report has coincided
with Good Friday only four times since 1999, according to data
from Bespoke, most recently in 2012. Analysts expect 245,000
jobs added in the month, down from 295,000 in February.
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on Thursday on
the NYSE by 1,923 to 1,101; on the Nasdaq, 1,643 issues rose and
1,092 fell.
    The S&P 500 posted 19 new 52-week highs and three new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded 104 new highs and 35 new lows. 
    About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges,
below the 6.4 billion daily average for the last five trading
sessions, according to BATS Global Markets. 

 (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler)