Stocks rise as jobs, service sector beat view

US private-sector payrolls expand by 162,000. Service sector picks up in September. But in China and Europe, data is weak. Also, uncertainty about the timing of Spain's bailout is causing jitters. Best Buy may be up for an $11 billion buyout.

By Melly Alazraki Oct 3, 2012 9:20AM
stock marketLast updated 11:06 a.m. ET

Stocks struggled to maintain gains Wednesday as surprisingly positive U.S. data barely offset concerns over the weak data out of China and Europe and jitters over the timing of a Spain bailout. The ADP private-sector employment report showed more jobs than expected were added in September. Meanwhile, the ISM service index also rose more than forecast in September. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) was up 15 at 13,498. The S&P 500 ($INX) was up 3 points at 1,448. The Nasdaq Composite ($COMPX) was up 10 points at 3,130.

Also making headlines is Wednesday night's presidential debate, in which President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney will face off for the first of three sessions. No doubt, the economy and policies will be discussed.

Jobs data tops forecasts, but growth still slow
For now, attention turned to employment data. Private payrolls expanded by 162,000 in September, according to payrolls processing firm ADP. That was significantly above economists' expectations for 133,000, according to

With employment data in the past two months showing much slower growth, investors had hoped the September data would show renewed growth. But the September figure, while above forecasts, is still a slowdown from the lower revised August increase of 189,000 jobs. ADP revised its July figure lower as well, pointing to a slower improvement than hoped. 

The ADP report is generally a good indicator of the Labor Department's jobs data, and it could foreshadow how Friday's nonfarm payrolls report will turn out. For Friday, economists expect a 120,000 increase in September nonfarm payrolls and that the unemployment rate will remain at 8.1%, according to

Service sector grows at fastest pace since March

The Institute for Supply Management services index rose to 55.1 in September from 53.7 in August. Economists had expected the index to have ticked down to 53. Any reading over 50 indicates more companies are expanding instead of contracting.

On Monday, the ISM index on manufacturing surprised when it resumed growth as it moved into expansion territory, investors are hoping for another positive surprise.

Overseas data weak as Spain jitters weigh on stocks
On Tuesday, stocks first gained on hopes that Spain would soon ask for a bailout, but then they lost ground after Spain's prime minister dismissed the speculation that the country would seek a bailout as soon as this weekend.

European shares were lower Wednesday, weighed by Spain jitters and gloomy data. The final eurozone composite purchasing managers index for September fell to a four-month low, pointing to a steep monthly downturn for the region and an "inevitable" return to recession in the third quarter, according to survey compiler Markit.

In Asia, too, data was weak. The Chinese nonmanufacturing purchasing managers index remained in expansion territory but fell to 53.7 in September from 56.3 in August, and consumer sentiment weakened for a third month in September to its lowest level since December.

The weak data, combined with uncertainty over the timing of a bailout for Spain, kept a lid on gains in Asia as many investors returned from a long weekend. Japanese and Taiwanese stocks ended lower, while Australian and Hong Kong stocks pared earlier gains. 

Stocks to watch
Best Buy (BBY) shares rose after Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported that founder Richard Schulze and at least four private-equity firms have started examining the books of the world's largest consumer electronics chain in early steps toward what could become an $11 billion buyout.

MetroPCS Communications (PCS) closed up 18% on Tuesday after media reports said it confirmed that it's talking with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit about a possible merger. Deutsche Telekom would hold 74% and MetroPCS 26% in the combined entity, Financial Times Deutschland said on its website. Deutsche Telekom would also need to approve the plan. MetroPCS would receive $1.5 billion in cash, the report says.

Monsanto (MON) shares fell after the world's largest seed company reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter that was below analyst expectations. It also forecast 2013 earnings of no more than $4.32 a share, below the average analyst projection of $4.38 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Apple's (AAPL) Asian component suppliers have reportedly begun mass production of a new tablet computer that is smaller than the current iPad, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

Oct 3, 2012 10:57AM
VL..............NO I will NOT stop posting.................It is called......."Freedom of Speech".....! I am an American!!! It is my opinion that Obama is a fake.....including his accent................and his purpose is to divide the United States.......No, sorry, I will not stop posting my beliefs! Thank you!
Oct 3, 2012 9:43AM
Goldman Sachs pumps millions into the Presidents campaign ? Go figure and here I thought it was Jon Corzine using the money he stole from investors ?
Oct 3, 2012 9:52AM
"Deep into the campaign's official whopper that Mitt Romney will raise taxes on the middle class, the Vice President launched himself into a full Biden. "This is deadly earnest, man. This is deadly earnest," he said. "How they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years?"

In a way that only "drunken uncle" Joe Biden could manage, he reveals to us the only "shovel ready" project nearing completion for the Obama administration.
Oct 3, 2012 10:19AM


The fake "southern preacher from his pulpit.........his accent is fake.........what he has done to the United States is.............."division"...........I think you call it..."divide and conquer"

Oct 3, 2012 11:21AM
In my opinion this is a Public blog where everyone is welcome to come and exchange ideas, rant ,pray, talk about the market or whatever. Much like they guy that goes to the whorehouse and complains the place is full of prostitutes some here just don't get it.  If you want your own personal blog to post only the shiDt you want to hear then elsewhere is where UUUUU need to go.  I like all the wierdos, crazies, and whatevers that come here every day. Makes me very happy!  :)
Oct 3, 2012 10:49AM
So much uncertainty for the Friday jobs report.  Will they drop the UE rate below 8% this month to try and build some early momentum, or should they hold off another month and do it a few days before the election, to really try and seal the deal.  Decisions, decisions....
Oct 3, 2012 10:01AM

Monthly job growth reports from ADP are revised downward every month just like the weekly first time unemployment claims.


"But the September figure, while above forecasts, is still a slowdown from the LOWER REVISED August increase of 189,000 jobs.  ADP REVISED its July figure LOWER as well, pointing to a slower improvement than HOPED."


HOPED - I thought ADP based their #'s on payrolls they serviced for companies.


I see they are using - HOPE AND CHANGE


HOPE the #'s are what the government wants each month.

CHANGE - revise the #'s DOWNWARD even 2 months after reported (see July above).

Oct 3, 2012 10:25AM

Yesterday the auto makers reported that they sold a boodle of cars and ADP reported a bunch of new jobs today.


Oil has dropped below $90/ barrel. I don't think the downward trend in oil will continue.

Oct 3, 2012 10:15AM
According to Zero Hedge, government debt quietly rose $90 billion on the last day of the governments' fiscal year.
Oct 3, 2012 10:15AM

NTU....I went through....Stephen/Steven Covey's programs years ago..


The best part was when we took pontoons and jet-skis out on a 15-20 mile trip, stopping at Islands to swim or eat...


The only critical thinking I worry about now, is what's for dinner?

And, should I double down on those 2 cards or just take a hit..?

Oct 3, 2012 9:53AM

As much as many Americans would like to hope we can have a change in the economic climate they will be once again disappointed in my opinion.  As the traders on Wall Street attempt to harness volitility to their best benefit,  profits will  remain difficult  and for many of us only accidental. With debt, inflation, a government hamstrung by political diviseveness,  a commitment to the New World Order,  as well as economies struggling  to survive another week around the world, only Polyanna could see anything positive for the near term.  So as we approach these political debates or "popcorn time"; as T.O. would say, I am unhappily back on my heels and prepared for a long cold winter.  I would consider now a good time however to think about erasing this backward stance  which I think many of you must also feel.  I need to remind myself the past is never the perfect indicator of the future of this market. I am adopting a new creative energy process and a new game plan. I will call this Creative Critical Thinking.   Perhaps you might feel now is a good  time to reexamine your individual strengths, weaknesses, and commitments as well. We  need the word CREATIVITY posted on the frig. Conceptualize these words over and over and over until they are installed on your brain.  "Creative Critical Thinking". this will provide the necessary direction.  Bank on it.

Oct 3, 2012 9:37AM

Tops estimates....Well that is a good thing; But like the others, I'm sure it will be revised somewhat lower back to the estimated figure....?

So the good, the bad and the ugly....Well there is not an Ugly yet...


Unless you count that fat chick in the News....Seen enough of that on the 4 Networks this A.M.

She's really not all that bad....We got fat people,we got skinny people and everything in between..

"Can't we all, just get along"...R King.

News is not news anymore.....Just whining and bullshidt.

Oct 3, 2012 11:38AM

So I heard that Obummer has scheduled a campaign rally in my neighborhood tomorrow morning.  I'm thinking to head over and check out the freak show.  And messages I should bring?


Oct 3, 2012 10:25AM
Yup, some darn pretty colors are starting to pop up here and there...Another week or so most will be in full color..
Oct 3, 2012 10:35AM

Never put a whole lotta stock in ADP's reports...They are what they are, a payroll Company, much like Paychex and a few others....


They do offer a thumbnail sketch, but it's on a pretty small sampling....

It always pleases some and displeases others.

Oct 3, 2012 10:45AM
Watch this bubble POP as those 10 million MBS Trader jobs FAIL to materialize as Helicopter Ben PROMISED !  ALL HAIL THE ALMIGHTY PERFECT FEDERAL RESERVE !   IN THEM WE TRUST !
Oct 3, 2012 1:16PM

I am assuming that everyone is out getting more beer and peanuts for the debate tonight..??

It also seems very hard to post today..


According to a survey or poll only about 40% of voters, say they are going to watch the debates..

And we call ourselves informed ?...hmmmmm.


Sometimes I wonder how a lot of voters make their minds up to vote..

Or should they be voting at all ??

Oct 3, 2012 1:51PM

Yup you have to go to the "Home or Investment" tab....Run down to Top Stocks(clk) and scroll for this

Article...Not really sure why they have it under "Investment tab"...heh,heh.

Oct 3, 2012 1:42PM
I look into myself every morning and I see an imperfect man.  Still can't figure why liberals expect everybody else to be perfect and it is okay if they are losers. Me thinks it is the women thing in most male liberals.  Sit, judge, bitch,complain and spend their energy worrying about how wrong everyone else is..   Makes me chuckle, Sorry fools,  but I still love em.
Oct 3, 2012 12:40PM
Consider the uproar here if I had used the word Handi    capped.  How does one spell Hypo  cra   cy? How about the uproar if Romney used that evil term.. Oh how insensitive.  All those challenged people and the horrible pain inflicted on them by using such a horrible word.  Liberals are such hypocrites. Go Joe Go. I hear Romney has a cold and won't make the debate tonight.  Biden will stand in for him.
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