Stocks rose on Wednesday after data on the labor market and the U.S. services sector encouraged investors who had been uncertain about the pace of economic recovery.
The Institute for Supply Management's services gauge rose month over month at its fastest pace in more than two years in February, and the ADP Employment report showed U.S. private employers shed fewer jobs last month, suggesting the labor market may be on the mend.
Sentiment was also lifted 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.
The markets are reassured by Greece's plan and the data, said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates in Toronto. The ISM number was especially encouraging because it suggests that business is improving.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 53.81 points, or 0.52 percent, to 10,459.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 6.85 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,125.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 12.01 points, or 0.53 percent, to 2,292.80.
But Pfizer shares slipped 0.9 percent to $17.44 after the Dow component said its Alzheimer's drug, Dimebon, being developed with Medivation Inc
Costco Wholesale Corp
At 2 p.m., the U.S. Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book measuring economic activity across its 12 districts.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)