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The ISM Services Index for February was just released. It came in at 59.7, which is better than the 59.0 that had been expected, on average, among economists polled by Briefing.com. The latest Index reading is the highest since 2005.
Stocks continue to trade at session highs in the wake of the report. More than 90% of the issues in the S&P 500 are in higher ground. Of the 30 Dow components, Wal-Mart (WMT 51.85, -0.12) is the only name that has failed to put together any kind of a gain.
Advancing Sectors: Industrials (+1.8%), Financial (+1.5%), Tech (+1.4%), Materials (+1.3%), Consumer Discretionary (+1.3%), Energy (+0.8%), Energy (+0.7%), Consumer Staples (+0.6%), Utilities (+0.6%), Telecom (+0.5%)
Declining Sectors: (None)
Economist Steve Stanley at Pierpont says nonmfg ISM "statistics are impressive, the breadth of the rise speaks to a broad-based recovery." He says rising employment index is evidence payrolls soon will gain.
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