Stocks Open Higher After Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, after reports cast a better-than-expected light on the labor market and economic  expansion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 45.57 points, or 0.29%, to 15,566.16. The S&P 500 index added 4.81 points, or 0.29%, to 1,690.77. The Nasdaq Composite gained 16.09 points, or 0.44%, to 3,632.56.

U.S. economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter, laying a firmer foundation for the rest of the year that could bring the Federal Reserve a step closer to cutting back its monetary stimulus. Gross domestic product grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, stepping up from the first-quarter’s downwardly revised 1.1 percent expansion pace.

U.S. private employers added 200,000 jobs in July, topping economists’ expectations in an encouraging sign for the labor market recovery. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 180,000 jobs. June’s private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 198,000 from the previously reported 188,000.

Chairman Ben Bernanke rattled markets last month when he said the Federal Reserve might slow its bond purchases later this year if the economy strengthens. Economists expect the Fed will take a different approach Wednesday when it concludes its two-day policy meeting: Most expect policymakers will offer no major signals on interest-rate policies while stressing that any future changes hinge on the economy’s health, not a set timetable.

Apple Inc (NSQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday met with the head of China Mobile Ltd , the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers and the only Chinese carrier that doesn’t offer iPhones and iPads. The meeting with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing was to discuss matters of cooperation, the Chinese firm told Reuters in an emailed statement.

A Dell board committee is rejecting a voting rule change behind Michael Dell’s increased offer to buy out the struggling PC maker he founded.

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