The market pared early gains to finish slightly higher. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow added 42 points to close at a new record high of 14296. The S&P 500 Index increased 2 points to 1541.With Wednesday’s gain, the S&P 500 is 1.5% below its all-time high of 1565 set on October 9, 2007. The NASDAQ was down 2 points to 3222. On the NASDAQ, advancers beat decliners by 5-4 on issues and by 4-3 on volume.
  • The market ended the session mostly higher following a better-than-expected labor report. Before the open, the ADP report showed companies unexpectedly added 198,000 workers in February after an upwardly revised 215,000 gain in December.
  • The Fed’s Beige Book added to signs that the economy is improving amid rising demand for homes and autos. However, a weak factory orders report tempered investor enthusiasm as bookings dropped in January by the most since August 2012.
  • Overall, most sectors finished higher. Material stocks were the best performing group on the session. Cliffs Natural Resources gained 3.6% to $24.55 and Freeport-McMoRan advanced 4.1% to $32.84. Defensive groups held the market back as utilities and telecommunication stocks fell. Spectra Energy fell 1.0% to $28.91. AT&T lost 0.9% to close at $36.29. After the closing bell, notable profit tallies were due out from PetSmart and Vail Resorts.
  • NYSE Composite volume totaled more than 3.6 billion shares. Breadth was positive on the NYSE by 5-4 on issues and 2-1 on volume.
  • Treasuries were lower for a third day. The 10-year note was down 12/32 to yield 1.94% and the 30-year bond lost 30/32 to yield 3.16%.

For the complete report, click Ken's Market Report.