U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after data on U.S. private employment and the vast services sector reassured investors nervous about the pace of economic recovery.
The Institute for Supply Management's services gauge rose in February at its fastest pace since the recession began in December 2007. The ADP Employment report showed private employers shed fewer jobs last month than in January, suggesting the battered labor market may be turning the corner.
On every account, both data points look extremely positive, and they are consistent with the idea that a recovery is firmly under way, said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management in Paramus, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 28.04 points, or 0.27 percent, to 10,434.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 4.58 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,122.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 5.87 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,286.57.
Sentiment also improved after Greece's cabinet decided on budget-cutting measures worth $6.49 billion to ensure it reaches key fiscal goals this year. The country's debt crisis, and uncertainty over European Union financial support, had weighed on the euro currency and global markets in recent weeks.
As long as Greece makes progress, the threat of something blowing up recedes, Lieberman said. Anything that helps fix the problem removes a threat.
Pfizer shares slipped 1 percent to $17.44 after the Dow component said its Alzheimer's drug, Dimebon, being developed with Medivation Inc
Costco Wholesale Corp
The Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book measuring economic activity across its 12 districts at 2 p.m. <1900 GMT>.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)