Stocks Opened Higher after Job Data

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, the day after the Dow set a new record,  bolstered by data showing a larger-than-anticipated hike in private-sector payrolls in Feburary. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 30.30 points to 14,284.07. The S&P 500 index added 2.45 points to 1,542.24. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.33 points to 3,223.80.

U.S. private employers added a larger-than-expected 198,000 jobs in February, bolstering hopes that hiring across the economy is improving, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

The European Union has fined Microsoft €561 million ($733 million) for breaking a pledge to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the company’s flagship Windows operating system.

A special committee of Dell Inc’s (DELL) board of directors said the pending sale of the PC maker was the best alternative for shareholders, despite opposition from its largest outside shareholder. The committee, which had been analyzing Dell’s situation for more than five months, said in a statement on Wednesday that it had “negotiated aggressively” to ensure shareholders got the best possible value in agreeing to founder Michael Dell’s $13.65 per share offer to take the company private.

Staples Inc (SPLS) reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and forecast weak full-year earnings as corporate customers and other shoppers in Europe and North America reduced discretionary spending.

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