New York Report: S&P 500 hits new record on service growth

US STOCKS edged up yesterday with the S&P 500 ending at a new record as investors brushed off weaker-than-expected labour market data and focused on an acceleration in services-sector growth.

But trading volume continued to be light as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting today and the US government’s May nonfarm payrolls report tomorrow.

“ADP (employment) figures were not enough to provide a direction for Friday's numbers,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index showed that growth in the US services sector accelerated more than expected in May and rose at the fastest pace in nine months.

The ADP National Employment Report showed that fewer private-sector jobs were added in May than had been anticipated.

Among the day’s biggest gainers were US solar companies after the United States slapped new import duties on solar panels and other related products from China in a preliminary determination. First Solar also rose 3.9 per cent up to $65.39.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15.19 points or 0.09 per cent, to 16,737.53 and the S&P 500 gained 3.64 points or 0.19 per cent, to 1,927.88,

The Nasdaq Composite added 17.56 points or 0.41 per cent during the day, to 4,251.64.

The CBOE Volatility Index jumped 1.8 per cent to 12.08, its third straight daily advance.