GO
Loading...

US STOCKS-Wall Street ticks higher after data in choppy trading

* Best Buy founder, private equity firms examine books

* Private jobs, services sector data better than forecast

* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct

(Updates with data, comment) By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected data in the services and private employment sectors, but lower oil and metals prices hurt energy and materials shares.

Stocks oscillated between gains and losses as hopes that Spain will eventually request a bailout were offset by concern over China's slowing economy.

Data showed growth in the U.S. services sector picked up in September, defying economists' expectations for a slight decrease while the private sector added more jobs last month than forecast.

But the price of crude and metals fell, pressuring stocks in the energy and basic materials sectors, after the euro zone's economic woes increased last month and China's slowdown looked likely to extend to a seventh quarter.

The S&P materials index and the energy sector index were both negative.

"The market has lifted meaningfully since June 1st and it has taken the last couple of weeks to consolidate those gains. I think it will be another day of flat to slightly down price action," said Jim Russell, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Cincinnati.

The S&P 500 closed last week its fourth-straight month of gains, adding roughly 10 percent since the end of May.

The Dow Jones industrial average

rose 13.53 points, or 0.10 percent, to 13,495.89. The S&P 500 Index

gained

2.64 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1,448.39. The Nasdaq Composite

added 9.63 points, or 0.31 percent, to 3,129.67.

Best Buy

shares gained 2.9 percent to $17.47 as founder Richard Schulze and at least four private equity firms started examining its books, in early steps toward what could become an $11 billion buyout.

Shares of Family Dollar Stores

rose 4.6 percent to $69.03 after the discount chain posted a higher quarterly profit.

Monsanto

shares fell 3 percent to $87.80 after the agribusiness group posted a fourth-quarter loss during a seasonally sluggish sales period.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

((rodrigo.campos@thomsonreuters.com)(+1.646.223.6344)(Reuters

Messaging: rodrigo.campos.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

((For multimedia versions of Reuters Top News: 3000 Xtra: visit BridgeStation: view story .134 ==============================================================

For running updates on what's moving U.S. stocks:

==============================================================

For other U.S. market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

U.S. Equities speed guide........................

S&P 500 index ........................................

Dow Jones industrial average..........................

Nasdaq Composite index...............................

Nasdaq 100............................................

Thomson Reuters US Index .......................

Russell 2000 small cap................................

S&P major sectors..............................

NYSE most active.....................................

Nasdaq most active...................................

Top NYSE pct gainers.................................

Top NYSE pct losers..................................

Top Nasdaq pct gainers...............................

Top Nasdaq pct losers................................

52 week highs: NYSE............... Nasdaq.............. 52 week lows: NYSE............... Nasdaq..............

Main global stock indexes and market reports:

FTSE Eurotop 300 ..... European report ....... Nikkei 225............. Tokyo report............ FTSE 100............... London report........... Xetra DAX............. Frankfurt market stories CAC-40................. Paris market stories...

World Indices.....................................

Reuters survey of world bourse outlook.........

U.S. IPO diary........................................

U.S. Asset Allocation Table.......................

More Reuters News on equities at a glance:

Equities ............ US company news.........

Key non-equities market reports:

Foreign exchange......................................

Oil....................................................

US Treasuries.........................................

International bonds...................................

Gold.......................................

or

CRB index of commodity futures........................

.)) Keywords: MARKETS USA STOCKS