Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are higher this morning after two pieces of mixed economic data. According to the ADP National Employment Report, employment decreased 84,000 from November to December. However, data did show that the services sector in the US did expand in December.
The Institute for Supply Management reported this morning that the service sectors in the U.S. economy rebounded in December. The ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 50.1% from 48.7% in November. Despite the improvement, the increase was below most economists expectations, reported Greg Robb for MarketWatch.
Retail stocks inched higher this morning after discounter Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) reported a better-than-expected first quarter profit and second quarter outlook. [For more stories on the retail sector, see our retail category]. Family Dollar Stores’ stock is up about 12% while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT) is up about 0.5%.
Led by Toyota and Hyundai, Asian car companies finished 2009 ahead of American car companies in annual market share in the United States for the first time ever. Asian automakers held 47.4% of the market, compared with 44.9% for the American companies, reports Alan Ohnsman for Bloomberg. [For more stories on the auto sector, see our automobiles category]. The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (NYSE: IYT) is little changed.
According the weekly U.S. Department of Energy report on oil inventories, U.S. crude oil inventories surprisingly rose last week for the first time in a month. Stockpiles increased by 1.3 million barrels, reported Naureen S. Malik of the Dow Jones Newswires. [For more stories on oil, see our oil category]. The United States Oil Fund (NYSE: USO) is down fractionally this morning.
Tony D’Altorio contributed to this article.