The first day of the second quarter got off to a positive start after better-than-expected reports on pending home sales and manufacturing overcame a scary-looking employment report.

A report from Automatic Data Processing showed a 742,000 decline in payrolls during March, worse than the decline of about 650,000 economists had expected. But stocks' early losses reversed after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index was 36.3 for March, indicating that the steep declines in the sector were abating, and after the national Association of Realtors said pending home resales rose at a 2.1% annual rate in February.

At Wednesday’s close of floor trading on the NYSE, the DOW was on 7761.68 after a gain of 152.68 points (2.01%) while the S&P finished on 811.02, up 13.15 points (1.65%). The technology-heavy NASDAQ closed on 1551.60 after rising 23.01 points (1.51%).

The dollar traded in risk-acceptance mode (weaker against the higher-yielders and stronger vs. the yen) in N.Y. as stocks advanced, reversing the gains made last night as S&P futures fell. On the day, the greenback ended with a gain of 0.15% to the euro while it declined by 0.82% against the pound, 1.06% against Australia's currency and 0.26% to the yen.

Treasuries were little changed on Wednesday. On the day, yield on the 2-year note rose 0.7 basis points to 0.811% while yield on the 10-year note lost 0.9 basis points to 2.655%.

Crude for April delivery was recently trading up down $1.33 (-2.68%) to $48.33 per barrel.

Gold for April delivery was recently trading up $3.10 (0.34%) to $925.70 per ounce.