US STOCKS-Wall St higher but set for worst qtr in four years

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

US stocks surge, helped by energy and healthcare shares.

Wall Street was sharply higher on Wednesday, helped by gains in energy and healthcare stocks, but the three major indices were set for their worst quarter since 2011.

Data on Wednesday showed that the US private sector added more jobs than expected in September, raising hopes of a strong reading in the government’s payrolls report due Friday. Inflation remains below the Fed’s 2% target. “The ADP numbers were consistent with what we’ve been seeing in the last few months with the labour market continuing to tighten,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. ET (1346 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 175.64 points, or 1.09%, at 16,224.77, the S&P 500 was up 23.4 points, or 1.24%, at 1,907.49 and the Nasdaq composite was up 67.42 points, or 1.49%, at 4,584.74. The Nasdaq biotechnology index was up 3.8% as investors continued to seek bargains in the sector, which took a beating after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized drug pricing last week. Shares of Ralph Lauren were up 11.9% at $116.46 after the fashion powerhouse said its founder and CEO was stepping down and being replaced by the head of Gap’s Old Navy division.

Western Digital jumped 11.9% to $77.70 after the data storage company said it would receive a $3.78 billion investment from Chinese infotech company Unisplendour.

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