Stocks were mixed in midday trading on Wednesday, as weak oil prices weighed against upbeat readings on U.S. service sector activity and employment gains in September.
Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 35 points or 0.3 per cent, to 13,517. The broader S&P 500 was up 7 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1453. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 10 points or 0.1 per cent, to 12,381.
The ISM report on non-manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 55.1 in September, up from 53.7. That beat expectations for a decline to 53.4.
The ADP report on private sector employment showed job gains of 162,000 last month, ahead of expectations for 140,000 job gains. The report comes ahead of Friday’s official non-farm payrolls report from the U.S. Labor Department, though it often gives a very different indication of the employment landscape.
Within the S&P 500, telecom stocks rose 1.2 per cent, consumer discretionary stocks rose 1.1 per cent and financials rose 1 per cent. Commodity producers lagged after the price of oil decline. Crude oil fell to $89.72 (U.S.) a barrel, down $2.17, sending energy stocks down 0.8 per cent.
Within Canada’s benchmark index, energy stocks fell 0.7 per cent and materials fell 0.2 per cent, but financials rose 0.2 per cent.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 per cent and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.2 per cent.