US STOCKS-Wall Street up as Fed seen delaying move; utilities jump

lunes 6 de abril de 2015 10:47 GYT

* Herbalife shares fall after investigation report

* Indexes up: Dow 0.52 pct, S&P 0.55 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct (Updates to morning trading, adds data)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged up on Monday as expectations the Federal Reserve will push any interest rate increases further into the year offset concerns over faltering economic growth spurred by a surprisingly weak jobs report on Friday.

Labor Department data showed U.S. employers last month added the fewest jobs in more than a year. The rise of 126,000 jobs was well below economists' expectations for 245,000. The U.S. stock market was closed in observance of Good Friday when the data was released.

On Monday, ISM data showed the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector fell in March to its lowest level in three months while a measure from Markit showed the sector expanded in March at its fastest pace since August.

Investors are concerned that a series of soft economic data, including jobs, factory activity and consumer spending, may point to more than a weather-related slowdown and could indicate a loss of momentum in the U.S. economy.

However, the weak data eased some concerns over the U.S. dollar continuing to strengthen and pressure the earnings of companies with international exposure. It also pushed expectations of a rate hike from the Federal Reserve further down the road.

"The market seems to be very confused whether bad or good news is good news," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.   Continuación...