U.S. stocks advanced in early trade on Wednesday after ADP National Employment report showed that the private sector employment rose in March.
The S&P 500 Index gained 6.34 points, or 0.48 percent, to trade at 1,325.52 at 9:50 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 57.22 points, or 0.47 percent, to trade at 12,336.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.39 percent.
Private sector employment in the US rose in March, indicating improved labor conditions. U.S. nonfarm employment increased by 201,000 in March compared with downwardly revised figure of 208,000 jobs in February, while markets had expected private sector payrolls to rise by 210,000 in the month.
Payrolls in the services sector rose 164,000 in March, marking a gain for fifteen straight months. Manufacturing jobs increased 37,000, its sixth consecutive monthly gain. However, construction sector’s payroll additions remained weak, dropping by 5,000 to in March, taking the total employment reduction in the sector to 2,126,000 since January 2007.
On the corporate front, Cephalon Inc. (NASDAQ:CEPH) stock jumped 29.36 percent to $75.15 in the early trading, as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) seeks to take over Cephalon for about $5.7 billion or $73 per share in cash, after Valeant's earlier proposals were rejected. Cephalon confirmed Tuesday the receipt of three unsolicited acquisition offers from Valeant to acquire whole of it or only its non-oncology related assets.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) shares advanced 1.24 percent to $42.58 after the company stock was reiterated with “buy” rating at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $42.00.
Crude oil futures declined 0.40 percent to $104.37/barrel and gold futures advanced 0.75 percent.
The euro declined 0.25 percent to 1.4078 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.62 percent against the greenback.
European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 25.76 points, DAX30 up by 113.62 points and CAC 40 up by 34.36 points.