The Dow and the S&P 500 rose on Thursday, lifted by upbeat manufacturing and job market data, but the Nasdaq slipped as investors pummeled shares of Research In Motion
The decline in RIM shares compounded anxiety about Friday's payrolls report for March from the Labor Department after data on Wednesday from ADP Employer Services showed the private sector unexpectedly cut jobs.
The ADP report was basically a good idea as to what's coming, and the fact that they are releasing the jobs report on the day when 90 percent of the markets are not going to open gives a negative outlook, said Frank Pavilonis, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock, a retail brokerage firm, in Chicago.
The U.S. stock market will be closed for Good Friday when the March unemployment report is released. Some investors opted to book profits ahead of the long Easter weekend, derailing an earlier run-up that had sent indexes up 1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 23.43 points, or 0.22 percent, to 10,880.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 2.76 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,172.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 11.93 points, or 0.50 percent, to 2,386.03.
Energy, materials and major manufacturers led the Dow's and the S&P 500's gains as Thursday's data suggested improving global demand for commodities. U.S. oil futures rose to a 2010 high above $85 a barrel and helped shares of Exxon Mobil
The S&P energy index <.GSPE> gained 1.5 percent and Chevron Corp
But RIM, maker of BlackBerry smart phones, slumped more than 6 percent, making the stock the Nasdaq's top drag, a day after it posted quarterly results that lagged expectations.
Investors were looking to the ADP report for insight into the coming March non-farm payroll number. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast the economy added 190,000 jobs last month.
RIM's results helped investors pare back some of their technology bets after the Nasdaq rallied to 19-month closing highs through March.
An index of U.S. manufacturing activity in March exceeded expectations, rising to its highest level in over 5-1/2 years, the Institute for Supply Management said. Earlier, a U.S. Labor Department report showed initial claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected in the latest week.
Overseas manufacturing reports, including one from China, also bolstered sentiment.
(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Kenneth Barry)