US stocks climb following Dow's record day

Associated Press + More

NEW YORK (AP) — An unexpectedly large increase in private hiring helped send stocks higher in midday trading, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average tore through its previous record high.

The Dow was up 32 points at 14,285 shortly before noon Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point to 1,541. The Nasdaq composite was also up a point at 3,225.

Payroll processor ADP reported that companies added 198,000 workers in February, more than economists were expecting. The survey also revised the previous month's numbers up.

Microsoft was one of the few Dow members to fall, dropping 1 percent. European regulators fined the company for failing to follow an antitrust agreement requiring Microsoft to offer computer users a choice of Internet browsers, instead of just Internet Explorer.

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