One of the most closely watched leading indicators to gauge the U.S. economy is the monthly ADP Employment report, which came out Wednesday.
Companies added a better-than-expected 217,000 private-sector jobs in November versus the 190,000 Wall Street estimate, according to the ADP.
The ADP Employment report is based on data compiled from the company's 400,000 U.S. business payroll clients.
Econoday, a economic indicator news firm, explained the importance of the data release:
"The new ADP national employment report can help improve the payroll forecast by providing information in advance of the [Labor Department's November] employment report. The employment statistics also provide insight on wage trends, and wage inflation is high on the list of enemies for the Federal Reserve. ... By tracking jobs, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise; bond and stock prices will fall."
Using data from Kensho, a quantitative tool employed by hedge funds to spot historical trends, CNBC Pro found the stocks with the best performance the two days following the ADP report over the last five years. During that period, the ADP reports tended to come in stronger than Wall Street expected.