Major Averages Close In Positive Territory

Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Wednesday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves.

While the Nasdaq jumped 66.42 points or 1.1 percent to 6,368.31, the S&P 500 climbed 11.29 points or 0.5 percent to 2,457.59 and the Dow inched up 27.06 points or 0.1 percent to 21,892.43.

The strength on Wall Street came following the release of some upbeat U.S. economic data, including a report showing a jump in private sector employment.

Private sector employment in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of August, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP.

ADP said private sector employment jumped by 237,000 jobs in August following an upwardly revised increase of 201,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to climb by 185,000 jobs compared to the addition of 178,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. economic activity increased by more than previously estimated in the second quarter.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product jumped by 3.0 percent in the second quarter compared to the previously estimated 2.6 percent growth.

Economists had expected a much more modest upward revision in the pace of GDP growth in the quarter to 2.7 percent.

Semiconductor, biotechnology and housing stocks showed significant moves to the upside on the day, while notable weakness was visible among oil service and gold stocks.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.2 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both climbed by 0.5…

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