Wall Street climbs on strong private jobs data, oil gains


(Reuters) - The three major U.S. stock indexes added to their recent record run on Wednesday, as energy shares gained from a jump in oil prices and financials rose after strong private jobs data.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N) rose about 1 percent, while Goldman Sachs’ (GS.N) 1.5 percent increase gave the biggest boost to the Dow.

The rise was also supported by Facebook’s (FB.O) 1.4 percent gain ahead of its earnings report.

U.S. private employers hired 235,000 workers in October, the most since March and exceeding a median forecast of 200,000 among economists polled by Reuters, the ADP National Employment Report showed.

“We’re in a very positive environment,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“Economic data and earnings continue to remain a reason for optimism. The market will look for signs of a robust economy, and I think the momentum is in place.”

Following the strong ADP data, focus shifts to Friday’s non-farm payrolls report for October. The data will reveal if the labor market has strengthened after a hurricane-ravaged September.

Third-quarter earnings have been largely positive, with 72.9 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported topping profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is above the 72 percent profit-beat rate in the past four quarters.

Estee Lauder (EL.N) jumped nearly 10 percent after the cosmetics maker reported better-than-expected sales and profit.

US Steel (X.N) surged 14 percent and Garmin (GRMN.O) climbed 3.7 percent after strong earnings.

The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged at the end of its two-day meeting later today as speculation swirls on who will be its next leader, but will likely point to a firming economy as it edges closer to a possible rate rise next month.

The White House has said President Donald Trump will announce his Fed pick on Thursday. Trump is expected to choose Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is seen as more stock-market friendly, sources have told Reuters.

At 9:35 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 98.52 points, or 0.42 percent, at 23,475.76, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 10 points, or 0.39 percent, at 2,585.26 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 29.42 points, or 0.44 percent, at 6,757.08.

Eight of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, led by gains in energy .SPNY and financial .SPSY sectors.

Oil hit its highest since mid-2015 on data that showed OPEC significantly improved compliance with its pledged supply cuts and Russia is also widely expected to keep to the deal. [O/R]

Electronic Arts (EA.O) dipped 5 percent after the videogame publisher’s revenue forecast for the holiday shopping quarter narrowly missed estimates.

Cognizant (CTSH.O) was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P, dropping 5 percent after results. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,979 to 578. On the Nasdaq, 1,677 issues rose and 648 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila