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Midday Market Update

Stocks Inch Higher

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U.S. Market    
Stocks inched higher this morning after data and earnings.

The U.S. private sectors added 179,000 jobs in July according to ADP. Economists had expected only 165,000 jobs added and the data comes ahead of Friday’s closely-watched official payroll and unemployment report.

The ISM nonmanufacturing index, which measures the strength of the services sector, fell to 55.5 in July from 56.5 in June. The reading was slightly below views.

At midday the Dow and S&P 500 were each up 0.1% while the Nasdaq gained 0.2%.

Stocks on the Move
While  AIG’s (AIG) second-quarter results were  somewhat mixed, overall they support our view that management’s aggressive cost reductions and capital-return plan are moving AIG toward generating an acceptable return. Shares jumped nearly 7% at midday.

Shares of  Time Warner (TWX) were up 2.7% today after the firm reported better-than-anticipated quarterly results and announced it had acquired a 10% stake in Hulu.

Foreign Markets
European markets were mixed today. The FTSE 100 and Paris CAC were each down 0.2% while Germany’s DAX was up 0.3%.

Asian shares were also mixed. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.2% while the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.9% and Hang Seng fell 1.8%.

Jeremy Glaser does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.